Ag Weather Forum

Back-To-Back Record Yields Unlikely

Bryce Anderson
By  Bryce Anderson , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
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The unspoken-but-strongly-implied question at the 2014-15 winter farm meetings I was part of was "Will we see another record corn yield number this next season?". It's a natural thought--especially considering that the 171 bushels per acre final U.S. yield seemed to so easily waltz past 2009's mark of around 165 bushels per acre. And, as you know, the National Corn Yield Contest also logged the first 500 bushel per acre figure.

But, while it is certainly understandable to think that a back-to-back string of record yields might be in the cards, a look back at some 30 years of corn production, using USDA statistics, shows that repeat performances usually don't happen--and in fact, as a rule don't even come close to the benchmark year. Let's review these bushels-per-acre record years and the following season results:

1987-- 120 1988-- 82 (big La Nina year and drought)

1992-- 132 1993-- 101 (big flood year)

1994-- 138 1995-- 112 (blistering July heat wave)

*2003-- 141 *2004-- 160 (only time since 1987 that a record was logged two years straight)

BUT-- 2004-- 160 2005-- 148 (hot and dry midsummer)

2009-- 165 2010-- 151 (strongest La Nina in 60 years set in)

2014-- 171 2015-- ???

These details are interesting and certainly give rise to the view that we have no guarantee on how yields will perform this season. They also hint that there is still some weather adventure ahead as the season unfolds.

Bryce

Twitter @BAndersonDTN

(ES)

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