What Crops Does Kansas Grow?

Kansas is a top wheat producing state, but what other crops does the Sunflower State grow? Here’s a list of the most common Kansas crops.

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Top 10 Crops Grown in Kansas

Kansas is America’s 15th largest farming state in terms of acreage devoted to crops. The top 10 crops grown in Kansas, in order of acres harvested, are corn, soybeans, wheat, sorghum, hay, oats, milo, barley, rye and sunflowers.

Corn is by far the most widely planted crop in Kansas, with nearly 8 million acres harvested in 2016. Corn is used for livestock feed, as a biofuel and for a variety of industrial purposes including plastics and sweeteners. About 60 percent of the state’s corn crop is used for livestock feed.

Soybeans are the second most important crop in Kansas, with just over 5 million acres harvested in 2016. Soybeans are used for livestock feed, as a vegetable oil and for a variety of industrial purposes including plastics and lubricants.

Wheat is Kansas’ third most important crop with 4.5 million acres harvested in 2016. The majority of wheat grown in Kansas is hard red winter wheat which is used for bread flour. Other types of wheat grown in the state include durum wheat (used for pasta) and hard white wheat (used for tortillas and other specialty products).

Sorghum is the fourth most important crop in Kansas with 3 million acres harvested in 2016. Sorghum is used for livestock feed and for ethanol production. Sweet sorghum (a type of sorghum that contains high levels of sugar) is also grown in the state and used to make syrup and other sweeteners.

Kansas is also a major producer of hay, with 2.6 million acres harvested in 2016. Hay is used for livestock feed and bedding. Other crops grown in Kansas include oats (used for animal feed), milo (used for animal feed), barley (used for beer production), rye (used for whiskey production) and sunflowers (used for oil production).

Wheat

According to the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Kansas is the number one producer of wheat in the United States.Kansas growers produce hard red winter wheat, hard red spring wheat, soft red winter wheat, and white wheat. The majority of the wheat grown in Kansas is hard red winter wheat. Hard red winter wheat is used to make breads, rolls, cereal, crackers and many other food products.

Corn

Corn is by far the most common crop grown in Kansas. In fact, According to the Kansas Department of Agriculture, 95% of the state’s total crop acreage is dedicated to corn. Other common crops grown in Kansas include soybeans, wheat, sorghum, and hay.

Soybeans

Soybeans are a type of legume that are native to East Asia. They were first introduced to the United States in the early 1800s and have since become one of the most widely planted crops in the country. Kansas is one of the top soybean producing states in the nation, with farmers planting an average of 6.5 million acres of soybeans each year. The majority of Kansas soybeans are used for animal feed, but a small portion is also used for human consumption, such as in tofu or cooking oil.

Sorghum

Sorghum is a plant in the grass family and is native to Africa. It is drought-tolerant and is grown in arid and semi-arid regions. It is used for cattle feed, as well as for making syrup and alcohol. Kansas is the sixth largest producer of sorghum in the United States.

Hay

Kansas is a leading producer of hay in the United States. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Kansas farmers harvested 5.2 million acres of hay in 2018, with an average yield of 2.16 tons per acre. The total value of Kansas’ hay crop was $847 million in 2018.

Other important hay-producing states include Nebraska, Texas, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

Oats

Kansas is a leading producer of oats, which are most often used as livestock feed. According to the Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service, the state produced 4.5 million bushels of oats in 2017. Other top oat-producing states include Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Barley

Kansas is one of the top 10 barley producing states in the United States. In 2019, Kansas farmers grew 193,000 acres of barley and produced 4.8 million bushels with an average yield of 24.9 bushels per acre. Most of the barley grown in Kansas is used for animal feed, though some is also used for brewing and distilling.

Rye

Kansas is one of the top rye producing states in the United States, with over 4 million bushels produced each year. Rye is a cereal grain, similar to wheat, that is used for animal feed, human consumption, and the production of whiskey and other alcoholic beverages.

Flax

Flax is a plant that is grown for its seeds, which are used to produce oil and linen. The flax plant is very tall, and can grow to be over two feet tall. The leaves of the flax plant are green, and the flowers are blue. Flax is usually grown in fields, and is harvested by combining it.

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