Consultant Raises U.S. Corn Yield to 168 bu. per acre

Posted on 03/09/2017 10:21 AM

Crop consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier has raised his U.S. corn yield peg from last week by 2 bu. per acre to 168 bu. per acre for a crop of 14.53 billion bu., noting that weather so far this growing season has been more beneficial than detrimental. He says very good corn yields in northern and central Corn Belt areas are "probably going to compensate for potentially disappointing" yields in the western and far eastern Belt. He has a neutral to higher bias toward the crop going forward.

"A week ago when the forecast was for very high temperatures and limited rainfall, I thought that I would lower the maximum corn yield by a couple of bushels in this week's report. Well, it didn't turn out that way," says Cordonnier. "The rainfall during the heat spell was much greater than what had been forecasted and I think the generally good moisture has minimized much of the potential damage to the corn. Therefore, the maximum corn yield was left unchanged this week at 172.0 bu. per acre."

Cordonnier says he was inclined to increase his corn yield peg further, but was hesitant to do so due to high nighttime temperatures. "I think we have to be a little cautions about the corn yield before we start to plug in a record high or near record high corn yields," he said. "Certainly, any significant downside risk to the crop has been largely eliminated by the recent abundant rains. Therefore, I did increase the minimum for the corn crop by 2 bu. to 161 bu. per acre."

Cordonnier 2016 estimates
Harvested acreage
Avg. yield
bu. per acre
billion bu.

Meanwhile, Cordonnier left his soybean yield estimate unchanged at 46.7 bu. per acre and has a neutral to slightly higher bias toward the crop. "The most important time for soybeans is starting now and it will go through about the third week of August," he notes. "Many soybean fields in the wetter areas of the northern and central Corn Belt have enough soil moisture to get the soybeans through the first week of August. After that, another two good rains will set the crop up for a good finish."

Cordonnier notes the following areas of concern for the U.S. crops:

  • Drier-than-normal soil moisture in parts of the eastern Corn Belt (Ohio, Michigan, and northeastern Indiana) and drier-than-normal soil moisture in parts if the western Corn Belt (mainly South Dakota).
  • Very high daytime and nighttime temperatures.
  • The potential for excessive dark respiration especially in the southern and western areas.
  • The fringe areas of the Corn Belt not benefiting as much from the recent rains.
  • Potentially too much rainfall in parts of Minnesota.



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