Drought hurt Minn. crops more than first thoughtby Mark Steil, Minnesota Public Radio
Worthington, Minn. — Poor weather last year reduced the size of the Minnesota harvest more than previously estimated.
The U.S. Agriculture Department's final 2011 estimate shows another drop in corn and soybean.
The USDA's first estimate last August pegged Minnesota's $7 billion corn crop at 166 bushels an acre.
Since then the estimate has moved downward steadily, as a late summer drought apparently did more crop damage than first thought. The agency's final report says the yield was just 156 bushels an acre, down 6 percent from the initial forecast.
Soybean production is also lower than expected. Grain prices though remain high, so Minnesota farmers should still make sizable profits even with the disappointing yields.