Which crops take up the most cropland within each state for 2016?

This is the question that informs the creation of this interactive map. In addition, data on cropland use can be valuable because it allows states to identify which crops are going to be most important for trade and marketing efforts to be focused on for both domestic and international markets. Furthermore, crop associations, co-ops, and various farm interest groups can identify competing state and regional markets within the United States.

Farmers vary the amount of land designated to each crop from year to year, therefore, this share of total cropland will change seasonally. However, states and regions will remain similarly ranked in production. For those marketing grain or monitoring commodity markets, in the same way that production in Brazil and Argentina affects the world supply and price of corn and soybeans, more localized production (especially in the world’s breadbasket) can also affect farmers right here in Iowa. This occurs simply because of the massive volume of production within these states.

Some highlights for Iowa from the map include:

56.8% of Iowa cropland in corn.

38.8% of Iowa cropland in soybeans.

It is interesting to note the diversity of crop production in states like North Dakota, where 10 of the crops we tracked make up the 2% or more of the cropland respectively. Diversification can create more stable prices, and decreased risk. More information will be provided in future articles about the economic consequences and benefits that can come from diversification and concentration of crop production.

Preston Lyman is a Research Analyst with Decision Innovation Solutions (DIS). DIS is an Iowa-Based economic research firm which provides regular farm economics research and analysis to the Iowa Farm Bureau staff and members.