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Kansas: A Leader in Wheat, Grain Sorghum, and Beef Production

Posted by Doug Bounds, Kansas State Statistician, National Agricultural Statistics Service in Research and Science
Jul 03, 2019
Sunflowers in Kansas
The official nickname for Kansas is “The Sunflower State.” Sherman County produces more sunflowers than any other county in Kansas. There are dozens of species of sunflowers. Sunflower seeds can be transformed into oils, birdseed, and more.

Kansas farmers know how to grow wheat. In 2017, Kansas ranked No. 1 in wheat production, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Kansas farms produced 319 million bushels of wheat from 7 million harvested acres, accounting for almost 18 percent of all wheat grown in the United States.

Kansas also ranked No. 1 in grain sorghum production. On the 2.4 million acres of sorghum harvested for grain in Kansas, 194 million bushels were produced; this accounted for a whopping 55 percent of all grain sorghum produced in the U.S. in 2017.

But Kansas farmers know how to grow other crops as well. Kansas corn production totaled 694 million bushels in 2017, ranking seventh in the nation. Soybean production in Kansas was 197 million bushels, 10th in the nation. Kansas also produced 74 million pounds of sunflowers in 2017, coming in fourth.

Kansas ranked sixth in forage production with 5.6 million tons harvested in 2017. Cotton production in Kansas totaled 188 thousand bales in 2017, almost three times as much as in 2012.

What about livestock in Kansas? On the nearly 27,000 Kansas farms and ranches raising cattle and calves in 2017, nearly 8 million head were sold. This accounted for over 11 percent of all cattle and calves sold in the United States. Just over 5.4 million hogs were sold off Kansas farms in 2017, up almost 8 percent from five years before.

Overall, the nearly 59,000 Kansas farms and ranches, which encompassed almost 46 million acres, accounted for roughly $19 billion dollars’ worth of agricultural products sold in 2017.

I would like to personally thank all the Kansas farm and ranch families who completed the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Without your help, we would not be able to provide an accurate measurement of the food, feed, and fiber supplies that contribute so greatly to the prosperity of our state and nation.

Category/Topic: Research and Science