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(Janesville, WI) Catherine Idzerda, Gazette

And the winners are … corn and soybeans.

The United States Department of Agriculture recently released crop totals for Wisconsin, and Rock County was once again at the top of the corn and soybean rankings.

Rock County farmers harvested 4.83 million bushels of soybeans, more than any other county in the state, according to the USDA. Dane County was second with 3.93 million bushels.

Wisconsin's total soybean production was 78.8 million bushels.

Dane County took first in the category of corn for grain with 32.10 million bushels. Rock County was second with 27.70 million bushels.

The standings aren't a surprise to local farmers and others familiar with Rock County agriculture.

“That's where we usually are,” said Jim Raymond, host of WCLO's “Ag Matters.”

Rock County UW Extension Crops and Soils Agent Nick Baker agreed, adding that a variety of factors help local yields.

Part of it simply has to do with the amount of land in production, but the quality of acreage is important, too, he said.

“We have some of the soil best in the state, if not in the country,” Baker said, referring to the area east and south of Janesville.

The county has a geographical advantage, too.

“We're in the southern part of the state, and we have more growing day units,” Baker said.

Translation: We get more sunshine and warmth than the northern part of the state.

This year, yields were helped by summer weather, Baker said.

“We had really good growing conditions this year,” he said.

Moderate temperatures during corn germination helped kernels fill out, and timely rains helped keep Rock County at the top of production, Baker said.

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