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Productivity

In 1960, the national corn yield was 52 bushels per acre.  In 2018, the corn yield is estimated at 178.4 bushels per acre.  In 1960, the national soybean yield was 23 bushels per acre, compared to the 52.8 bushels per acre yield forecast for 2018.  This incredible increase in yields is due to greatly improved hybrids, better weed control, new technologies is preparing, planting and harvesting the crops, and a greater degree of management by 21st century producers.

With equipment that is larger and more efficient than in the past, producers are able to farm more acres and raise bigger yields from those acres.  These producers supply an increasingly larger corn crop for livestock production, ethanol production and exports while still are not increasing the acres that are devoted to production.  The soybean crop is used for livestock feed, human consumption and various other products and for the export market.

One of the effects of the great increase in per acre productivity is the steadily increasing long term land price.  Producers and landlords are willing to pay ever higher prices for land that are at least partially justified by increased per acre productivity of the land.

The increase in productivity of American agriculture is an amazing success story.

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