Record production, high quality, and minor weather-related impacts are the top-line findings of the 2013/2014 Corn Harvest Quality Report, released recently by the U.S. Grains Council.
“After a record drought last year, the world has been watching intently the 2013 U.S. corn crop,” said USGC President and CEO Tom Sleight. “Production has rebounded, and quality is high despite some weather challenges. It’s good news all around.”
Total U.S. corn production of 13,989 million bushels is an all-time record, and the average yield of 160.4 bushels/acre is the second highest on record. Weather was again the challenge, as a cold and wet spring delayed planting across much of the Corn Belt. Some areas also experienced flash-drought conditions in midsummer, although this was generally offset by cooler temperatures.
These weather adversities slightly reduced planted acreage and yield, while harvest quality remained very high. As compared to prior years, weather-related impacts were modest and predictable.
“The report compares a wide range of quality factors across time,” Sleight noted, “and after the rollercoaster ride last year, the message in 2013 was that there were no surprises. A few test factors ticked up, others ticked down, consistent with weather conditions, while overall quality at harvest was very high. With record production, this is certainly a good news report.”
Corn quality will be affected by further handling, so the council annually publishes a second report, the Corn Export Quality Report, which assesses quality at the point of loading for international shipment. The 2013/2014 Export Quality Report will be published in March 2014.