(Posted Mon. Sep 15th, 2014)
With harvest underway in the southern states and southerly portions of the Corn Belt, the crop condition remains strong, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Report released today. Seventy-four percent of the crop remains in good-to-excellent condition as of September 14, a full 21 percentage points more than at this time last year. Now, with 27 percent of the corn crop at full maturity, the potential for record corn production is coming closer to fruition.
“While maturity trails the average in some areas, the outlook for the 2014 corn crop remains impressive,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre, a farmer in Illinois. “While farmers have worked hard to grow such an abundant quality crop, they continue to see a decline in the price that will be paid for their potentially record crop. Current market conditions could even result in prices possibly below that of production for some. As we finish our work in the fields, we must now turn our attention to growing markets. Farmers must send a loud, clear message to Washington that will ensure our government does not take any action that would further jeopardize our markets or increase our cost of production.”
The report gave the first official look at harvest progress for 2014. With four percent of corn acres harvested nationally, progress lags five points behind the five-year average for this point in the season. Texas and North Carolina show the highest percentage of harvested acres, 59 and 52 percent respectively, while harvest had not begun as of September 14 in nine states.
Crop quality reports held stable from the previous week with the percentage of corn in dent stage increasing by 13 points, now trailing the five-year average by only three points. At the same time, 27 percent of the crop has now reached full maturity, 12 points behind the five-year average.