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2021 U.S. corn harvest begins

2021 U.S. corn harvest begins

Farmers have harvested about 4 percent of the national crop

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Farmers across the United States are harvesting the 2021 corn crop.

About 4 percent of the national crop has been harvested, the USDA’s Sept. 14 Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin said.

American farmers reported planting 92.7 million acres in 2021, meaning about 3.71 million acres of corn have been harvested.

On a state level, producers in Texas are the furthest along.

Farmers in the state have harvested about 63 percent of their corn acres, up from 53 percent the previous week.

Texas farmers planted about 2.1 million acres of corn in 2021, so about 1.32 million acres of corn have been harvested.

Chad Wetzel, a producer from Grayson County, Texas, is finished with his 2021 corn harvest.

He wrapped up harvesting his 3,000 acres of corn last week.

In 2020, Texas farmers averaged a corn yield of about 128 bushels per acre.

But for Wetzel, yields this year are lower than that.

“Our yields were below average, down about 25 percent this year,” he told “Primarily because we had too much rain early in the growing season. We planted on time, had a great stand and then in mid-April it started raining and basically didn’t stop until early June.”

Wetzel knew from inside the cab that yields weren’t going to be the same as in previous years.

The corn plants told the story of the growing season that was, he said.

“The plants were shorter, they didn’t get a good canopy, and they were off-color,” he said. “Just looking at the plants from the combine you could tell they were short of nutrients and that yields were going to be off.”

With corn harvest finished, Wetzel is turning his attention to the upcoming winter wheat crop.

Field work will start in the coming weeks, he said.

“We’re doing some tillage and we’re repairing some of our drainage,” he said. “We’ll be spreading fertilizer and soon most of those corn acres will be winter wheat acres.”

In 2019, Texas farmers planted 4.6 million acres and harvested 2.1 million acres of winter wheat at a yield of 34 bushels per acre.

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