When most people think about farming, they think of produce crops. The U.S is popular for the production of numerous types of these and is actually a leading importer in some. Popular U.S grown crops according to USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) include barley, soybeans, vegetables, rice, sugar, corn, tree nuts, and many others. Of this wide array, there are different climatic zones, growing seasons, and harvesting seasons.
One such season is fall or autumn, which is between begins late in September and ends late in December in the U.S. While many think the end of the year mars business closure, rest and retirement, in preparation for winter, fall marks the onset of harvesting for some farmers. It, therefore, calls for dedication, hard work, setting up intensive systems for harvesting, storage, and transportation, and so much more. It is a busy time especially for farmers of the top 5 crops harvested in fall in the states.
These include Corn, Soybeans, Cotton, Rice, and Sugar. Some of these have more than one crop year, meaning they have other growth and harvest seasons in a year. For others, the seasons may shift depending on climatic conditions and physical conditions in the zones they are grown in. This article seeks to explore more on these 5 top crops to educate investors, farmers, and the global population in general.
Starting with Corn, it is the most widely produced grain in the US, according to statistics by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, and the Department of Agriculture (USDA). Yield per acre averages close to 180 bushels per harvested acre, and with over 90 million acres of corn in the US, it is safe to say that it is a leading crop in the country. Corn is mainly grown in Ohio, Minnesota, Indiana, Nebraska, Illinois, and Iowa. It is planted in April through July then harvested in October and November.
Soybean is also a renowned crop, whose crop year runs from September 1st to August 31st whereby planting begins late in April to June. Other countries like Brazil, for example, harvest their soybeans in February through May, due to varying climatic conditions. The U.S is, however, the leading soybean producer and exporter in the world. Each year, around 3 billion bushels of Soybeans are harvested, accounting for around 90% of US oilseed production. It is grown in Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois.
Cotton makes the US one of the most important players in the textile industry. Being the 3rd largest producer of cotton in the world, it comes as no surprise that It is the world's leading exporter of cotton. Additionally, as one of the most important textile fabrics, cotton farming employs more than 125,000 workers and is a major contributor to the economy, giving around $21 billion to the economy every year. Cotton occupies around 13.8 million acres of land, which gives around 21 million 480-pound bales of cotton annually.
Rice is exclusively grown in California and the southern part of the U.S. Rice farms cover an estimated area of 2.54 million acres, which give around 180 million cwt of rice annually. There are three different types of rice namely, long, medium, and short-grain. Seeing that rice is a major staple food in most countries, about half of the harvested rice is exported.
Finally, is Sugar. It comes from sugarcane, sugarbeets, and high fructose corn syrup. The US is yet again, the largest producer of sugars and sweeteners and is also one of the largest consumers of the same. Sugarbeets' production amounts to about 22 million tons while Sugarcane ranges around 35 million tons. Sugar remains one of the few crops whose production seems to be increasing every year, with most of the rest reducing in production.
The U.S is indeed a notable player in crop production, and though Fall may seem like a relaxed time for many, it is an important time for the Agricultural board. Note that all statistics above are from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, and the Department of Agriculture (USDA).