(Posted Fri. Dec 5th, 2014)
This year’s predicted high-quality, record corn harvest is featured in the third segment of the U.S. Grains Council’s series chronicling the 2014 U.S. growing season, released this week.
The segment will be presented to international audiences in conjunction with the Council’s 2014/2015 Corn Harvest Quality Report, set to be released later this month.
The video series examines the crop quality and growing conditions of U.S. corn growers in Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas and Ohio. The first video in the series focused on planting, and the second segment highlighted the outstanding weather in June and July for most farmers, which helped the crop progress quickly and created a good situation for pollination. This final segment reviews how harvest went for the same four farmers.
“The crop is very large and high quality in this area,” Nebraska farmer Dave Nielsen said. “We had really good growing conditions, which set us up for harvest. The farmers in this area are very pleased, and I believe across the whole U.S. Corn Belt, farmers are pleased.”
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report released Nov. 10, U.S. corn production this year will be record-breaking. Total production is estimated at 14.4 billion bushels or more than 360 million metric tons, with yield estimates at 173.4 bushels per acre or almost 11 tons per hectare.
“Test weights have been running anywhere from 56 to 59 pounds per bushel,” said Terry Vinduska, a farmer in Kansas. “For us, that’s average to slightly better than normal. We did lose a little bit of kernel depth because of a drought on a couple of fields in spots but, all in all, it’s a very good, high quality harvest.”
In a few areas that had more wet, cloudy weather, test weights were slightly lower compared to last year.
“The plants had plenty of moisture, but they weren’t quite photosynthesizing enough to really put the nutrients into the kernel to make it as dense as what it was last year,” said Illinois farmer Paul Jeschke, who is also a member of NCGA’s Ethanol Committee. “I think the really wet late season weather was possibly the cause of our lighter test weights.”
Many farmers have already started drying their corn in preparation for storage. This is a crucial step in preserving the quality before it goes to storage and is eventually shipped.
“In Ohio, the corn wasn’t dry enough at the end of the growing season to put it straight in the bin, so we used a mechanical dryer,” said NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair and Ohio farmer John Linder. “One of the challenges to maintaining high quality in this type of drying system is using the proper temperatures to dry the corn, so we monitor it very closely.”
The U.S. corn harvest is proving to be a record crop with good quality overall, which will be highlighted in the harvest quality report, set to be released Dec. 15.