The jury is in and despite some early season excess precipitation in the Eastern Corn Belt with that same area suffering from extended dryness during the summer, the U.S. national corn yield is the second highest ever at 168.4 bushels per acre (bpa) trailing only the year ago record of 171.0 bpa.
Despite a very favorable end to the growing season with a much later than normal first fall freeze for even the key northern producing states leading to trade expecting a hike from the November 2015 yield estimate of 169.3 bpa, the USDA actually lowered the final yield.
Much of this was due to rather steep downgrades in a number of eastern and southern states including GA down 10 bpa, IN down 6, MD down 14, MS off 10, OH off 10, SC down 10 and TX down 8.
The accompanying graphic shows the actual 2015 and forecasted 2016 trend yields for the top 18 producing states and the U.S. along with the 2015 yield as a percent of trend and as a percent of the 2014 yield. Note that we are using a 25 year trend.
This past season Iowa had the highest yield of any of the top states with a new record of 192.0 bpa, one of seven states that set all-time high yield markets vs. the nine states the year prior.
This is the first time that Iowa, normally the highest yielding state has had that honor in four seasons.
It was however both Kansas and Kentucky that had the highest 2015 yields as a percent of their 25 year trend at 118% with MN having the highest 2015 yield as a percent of the 2014 yield at 121%.
Conversely NC had the lowest yield at 113.0 bpa though Indiana had the lowest 2015 yield as a percent of trend at 90% while MO had the lowest 2015 yield as a percent of the 2014 yield at 76%.
Note that the 25 year trend for U.S. corn last year was 162.5 bpa and that rises to 165.5 for this season.
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