I think it is fairly common for us as Americans to assume that our agricultural production leads the world in yields. But when you review the average yields by variety, in many cases, the US does not even make the top 5 for yield. Part of this may be due to smaller countries using irrigation on all of their crops for that particular variety; but having visited Europe a few times and viewing their agricultural production, I can vouch that many of these farmers “baby” their crops more than we do. Many of them make a living off of a 100 acres instead of a 1,000, so they have to maximize their yields.
For example, I pulled the top 5 yielding countries for various crops as follows:
- Jordan 318 bushels per acre
- Chile 191 bushels per acre
- New Zealand 175 bushels per acre
- US 159 bushels per acre
- Canada 143 bushels per acre
- Argentina 43 bushels per acre
- US 41 bushels per acre
- Brazil 40 bushels per acre
- Canada 37 bushels per acre
- China 27 bushels per acre
- New Zealand 119 bushels per acre
- Zambia 104 bushels per acre
- Switzerland 89 bushels per acre
- Chile 88 bushels per acre
- Egypt 87 bushels per acre
As you can see, for corn we are number 4, soybeans number 2 and for wheat, we don’t make the top 5.
Many of these countries can learn from our production methods, but I think we can learn from theirs too.
Paul NeifferCategories: Demographics, Farm Industry Trends, Farm Leadership