Market Matters Blog

USGC 2023-24 Corn Harvest Report Shows High Quality, Record Size Crop

Mary Kennedy
By  Mary Kennedy , DTN Basis Analyst
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Producer Quentin Connealy, harvesting his corn in the Missouri River bottom on the east side of Nebraska, noted that irrigation and timely water through the growing season helped produce a pretty successful crop. (Photo by Quentin Connealy)

According to the Nov. 30 U.S. Grains Council's (USGC) 2023-24 Corn Harvest Quality Report, the 13th such annual survey published globally, the 2023 United States corn crop is the largest on record with the lowest percentage of broken corn and foreign material (BCFM) to date.

USGC noted in a press release about the report that warm and dry weather conditions in April and May allowed producers to plant ahead of schedule; despite concerns about continued dryness in June, healthy rainfall returned later in the summer. This helped the crop to properly mature and there was a timely harvest of 386.97 million metric tons (15,234 million bushels) of corn. In addition to the record size of the 2023 corn crop, USGC said that the U.S. produced a corn crop with high grain quality.

The report showed that average aggregate quality of the representative corn samples tested was better than the grade factor requirements for U.S. No. 1 grade. The report also showed that 88% of the samples met the grade factor requirements for U.S. No. 1 grade and 96.7% met the grade factor requirements for U.S. No. 2.

"The Council is proud to produce this annual report that proves the quality and abundance of U.S. corn year over year. The transparency it provides to buyers helps them make informed decisions and takes another step toward developing markets, enabling trade and improving lives," said Brent Boydston, USGC Chairman. "This crop's incredible volume allows the United States to remain the world's leading corn exporter, accounting for an estimated 26.4% of global corn exports."

The report is based on 611 yellow corn samples taken from defined areas within 12 of the top corn-producing and exporting states, according to USGC. "Inbound samples were collected from local grain elevators to measure and analyze quality at the point of origin and provide representative information about the variability of the quality characteristics across the diverse geographic regions."

USGC noted that this year's corn protein concentration registered at 8.8%, an improvement on the five-year average of 8.5%. "The crop also showed lower average total damage and average moisture content when compared to the five-year average.

"The chemical composition of the crop remained in a healthy range, as 99.5% of the samples tested below the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) action level for aflatoxins and 100% of the samples tested below the 5.0 parts per million FDA advisory level for deoxynivalenol. Additionally, 98.3 percent tested below the FDA's strictest guidance level of 5.0 parts per million for fumonisin."

Fumonisin is a mycotoxin produced by the fungus Fusarium verticillioides, a common contaminant of corn and corn products. According to the FDA, "The levels of fumonisins in raw corn are also influenced by environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and rainfall during pre-harvest and harvest periods. High levels of fumonisins are associated with hot and dry weather, followed by periods of high humidity."

The Council will present its findings to buyers around the world in a series of roll-out events, beginning in China on Dec. 12. Presentations will continue in India, Korea, Panama and Taiwan through the first quarter of 2024 and aim to offer participants clear expectations regarding the quality of corn for this marketing year, noted the press release. "During these events, crop quality information is accompanied by updates on U.S. corn grading and handling that provides importers and end-users with a better understanding of how U.S. corn is moved and controlled through export channels," said USGC.

Here is a link to the entire report:…

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