After an extremely difficult spring and a difficult harvest in many parts of the US, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released its Crop Production Report for the 2019 year.

The report was released on the same day as the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report.

Over the course of the season the size of the planted and unplanted areas attracted much interest.

Speculation surrounded the size of these areas throughout the year. It seems as though speculation will continue, as some states have not yet completed the harvest due to weather.

While the corn area took a hit, it was soybeans which suffered most. Soybean production dropped 20% from the previous year, while corn production dropped by 5%.

Snowfall in May and again in October delayed both planting and harvest. For example, as of May 19 corn planting was 31% behind the five-year average planted area for the time of year (80%).

Some of the states worst hit by the weather were North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The latest figures from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reveal the planted areas for 2019.

Total area planted to crops

In total, over 302.5 million acres of land were planted to crops in the US in 2019. Almost 285 million acres were harvested.

This is down on both 2018 and 2017, when approximately 319 and 318 million acres were planted. 299 and 302 million acres were harvested (respectively).

Iowa saw the greatest amount of land planted to crops at 23,935,000ac. In 2018, North Dakota took the top honour, while Iowa once again had the largest area planted in 2017.


89.7 million acres of corn were planted in 2019 according to the report, back just over 1 million acres on 2018. The main production states which saw the biggest decline in the area planted were North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio and Illinois.

While 89.7 million acres were planted, almost 81.5 million acres were estimated to be harvested when the report came out - that area harvested is up by less than 1% on a revised 2018 estimate.

At present, corn (for grain production) is estimated at 13.7 billion bushels - that's down 5% from 2018.

A note attached to the report by the NASS stated:

"When producers were surveyed, there was significant unharvested acreage of corn in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin; and soybean acreage not yet harvested in Michigan, North Dakota and Wisconsin. The unharvested area and expected production were included in the totals published in this report.

"NASS will re-contact respondents who previously reported acreage not yet harvested in these states in early spring. If the newly collected data justifies any changes, NASS will update the 2019 corn and soybean estimates published in this report. Stocks estimates are also subject to review since unharvested production is included in the estimate of on-farm stocks.

"After a thorough review of the balance sheet for the 2018 corn crop, NASS determined that revisions were necessary for the 2018 corn production and September 1, 2019, stocks estimates. Production was revised down 0.6%. Planted area was reduced 0.3% and harvested area was reduced 0.6%."


The area planted to soybeans decreased dramatically in 2019 to 76.1 million acres. This was approximately 13 million acres behind 2018 and 14 million acres behind 2017.

The area harvested equated to just over 75 million acres in 2019, almost 87.6 million acres in 2018 and just over 89.5 million acres in 2017.

The largest area of soybeans was planted in Illinois at 9.95 million acres. The biggest decreases in soybean area planted were in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio and South Dakota.

The report estimates soybean production for 2019 at 3.56 billion bushels. That's a decrease of 20% from 2018. The harvested area was also down by 14%.