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August 28, 2019

2019 U.S. Corn Crop Improves Slightly remains Highly Variable

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The weather has improved over the last several weeks and here is more rain in the forecast for this week, but the temperatures are going to be cool. The rainfall is good, but I would like to see warmer temperatures.

The rainfall last week was beneficial especially for the previously dry areas of eastern Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. Not everyone got the rain that they needed, but the weather has generally been beneficial for the last several weeks. The recent temperatures have a "fall-like" feel, which would be OK in a normal year, but it would be better this year if it stayed warm as long as possible. That would give the later planted corn more time to fill grain and reach maturity before a potential frost.

These cool and wet conditions are going to slow down the corn development and increase the risk of losses due to frost. There is certainly a lot of variability in the corn crop this year. The corn is 71% dough compared to 91% last year and 87% for the 5-year average. The corn is 27% dented compared to 59% last year and 46% for the 5-year average. The corn crop is as much as 31% behind both dough and dented compared to average.

The variability in corn development was illustrated very well in last week's Pro Farmer crop tour. The Pro Farmer 2019 U.S. corn yield was estimated at 163.3 buy/ac +/- 1% (164.9 - 161.7 buy/ac) with a total production of 13.35 billion bushels. Some of the crop scouts in the eastern Corn Belt commented that they encountered corn fields where the crop was not far enough along to even make a production estimate. For the seven states they sampled, the corn yield was down about 5% from their 3-year average.