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Ag stats: 2022 Colorado annual crop production highlights

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 The 2022 corn for grain crop is estimated at 118.58 million bushels, down 20 percent from last year’s production of 148.35 million bushels, and the lowest production total since 2002, according to the December 1 Agricultural Survey conducted by the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. The average yield of 121.0 bushels per acre is 8.0 bushels per acre below the yield realized last year. Area harvested for grain in 2022, at 980,000 acres, is 170,000 acres below last year. Acreage cut for corn silage is estimated at 190,000 acres, up 10,000 acres from last year, with production estimated at 3.71 million tons, compared with 4.41 million tons produced last year. 

Sorghum for grain production is estimated at 7.60 million bushels, down 49 percent from the previous year. Average yield is estimated at 20.0 bushels per acre, down 17.0 bushels per acre from last year. Producers harvested 380,000 acres for grain, down 20,000 acres from last year’s area harvested. Acreage cut for sorghum silage is estimated at 50,000 acres, up 11,000 acres from last year, with production estimated at 700,000 tons, compared with 546,000 tons produced last year. 

Colorado’s barley seeded area, at 61,000 acres, is up 9,000 acres from last year. Harvested area, at 40,000 acres, is down 7,000 acres from 2021 and the lowest harvested acreage since 37,000 acres in 1904. Barley yield, at 111.0 bushels per acre, is unchanged f rom last year and is the lowest yield since 109.0 bushels per acre in 2003. Barley production in 2022 is estimated at 4.44 million bushels, down 15 percent from the previous year and the lowest production since 1934. 

Winter wheat production in Colorado, estimated at 35.75 million bushels, is down 49 percent from 2021. Winter wheat producers seeded 1.95 million acres in the fall of 2021 for harvest in 2022, down from 2.20 million acres seeded for the previous year’s crop. Acreage harvested for grain decreased 450,000 acres from last year to 1.43 million acres in 2022. Winter wheat yield, at 25.0 bushels per acre, is down 12.0 bushels per acre from last year, and is the lowest yield since 25.0 bushels per acre in 2013. 

Proso millet production in the state is estimated at 6.57 million bushels, down from 9.35 million bushels produced last year. Farmers harvested 355,000 acres of proso millet, down 70,000 acres from the previous year. Yield decreased 3.5 bushels per acre from last year to 18.5 bushels per acre. 

All hay production for 2022 is estimated at 2.75 million tons, down 39 percent from the 2021 total. Alfalfa hay production is estimated at 1.77 million tons from 610,000 acres harvested, down 1,351 million tons from 2021, and the lowest production since 1956. Harvested area is the lowest since 1947. Average yield for the 2022 crop is 2.90 tons per acre, 1.10 tons per acre below last year. All other hay production totaled 981,000 tons from 530,000 acres harvested, down 384,000 tons from 2021. Harvested area is the lowest since 2000. The average yield of 1.85 tons per acre is 0.10 ton per acre below last year. New seedings of alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures in Colorado are estimated at 55,000 acres, up 5,000 acres from 2021. 

As of December 1, producers in Colorado were storing 1.35 million tons of all hay, down 33 percent from the 2.00 million tons stored last year. This represents a record low December 1 hay stocks level. 

All sunflower production is estimated at 31.14 million pounds from 49,500 acres harvested. Yield is estimated at 629 pounds per acre, down from the 935 pounds attained last year. Production of oil varieties decreased 38 percent from the previous year to 22.36 million pounds and production of non-oil varieties decreased 20 percent from the previous year to 8.78 million pounds. 

The state’s sugarbeet crop of 588,000 tons for 2022 is down 26 percent from the 795,000 tons produced in 2021. Producers harvested 20,500 acres in 2022, down from 23,600 acres in 2021. Average yield is estimated at 28.7 tons per acre, 5.0 tons per acre below 2021. 

Colorado potato growers produced an estimated 21.12 million hundredweight of potatoes this year, down 2 percent from last year’s crop. Average yield, at 400 hundredweight per acre, decreased 10 hundredweight per acre from the yield attained last year. The harvested area, estimated at 52,800 acres, is up from the 52,400 acres harvested last year. 

Dry edible bean production is set at 676,000 hundredweight, 12 percent above the 2021 crop of 602,000 hundredweight. Average yield is estimated at 2,030 pounds per acre, 150 pounds per acre above last year. Harvested area, at 33,300 acres, is 1,300 acres more than last year. Pinto bean production in 2022 is 452,000 hundredweight, up 27 percent from last year. 

Winter wheat seedings last fall for harvest during the 2023 crop year are estimated at 2.20 million acres, up 13 percent from last year.