Analysts Assess Corn Yield Potential

May 26, 2015 07:00 AM
Corn Sky Field

As of May, the USDA expects a yield of 166.8 bu. per acre for this year’s corn crop.

But not everyone thinks that figure—which would be the second-highest yield on record—is realistic.

“I think we’re going to have a real struggle hitting that USDA’s 166.8,” said Ted Siefried, chief market strategist at the Zaner Ag Hedge Group on U.S. Farm Report Saturday. “We’ve had our issues this year … I don’t feel like we’re going to spend as much money on this crop, so I don’t know if the yield potentials are there if we have a repeat of last year’s growing season.”

He’s skeptical of the possibility of yet another record yield, given recent history. “If you look at the last two time we set records on corn yield—2004 and 2009—we followed up on that average by dropping 12 bushels an acre off that yield,” Siefried said. “That puts us right around 159” bushels per acre.

Mark Gold of Top Third Ag Marketing also has his doubts about the USDA number—but in a different direction.

“A lot of people want to say that last year was a pretty good growing season,” said Gold on U.S. Farm Report. “I disagree. I think we had a lot of problems last year and we still had one tremendous yield. I don’t believe the world’s really caught up to the idea of how big these yields can be.”

This might be one of those years. “We’ve gotten in corn in, in relatively good fashion here. We’ve got plenty of moisture, warm temps, nothing hot,” Gold said. “Between now and my guess is the end of June, we’re going to be looking and talking about big, big yields.”

Listen to the conversation between Seifried and Gold here:


What are your expectations for corn yields this year? Will we blow past the USDA’s number or fall a dozen bushels short? Let us know in the comments. 

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Spell Check

New York, NY
5/27/2015 02:44 AM

  Some of farmers has target even 300 bushel/acre...

Western, NE
5/26/2015 09:26 AM

  Although this area is a fly speck on total corn production in the country, there will be a lot of prevented planting due to wet soils. What did get planted isn't up due to cold soil temps. What did manage to come up is so yellow from lack of sunshine and cold soil temps it's struggling to survive. Time to wonder if the "market" is a real barometer of current conditions or a Koch brothers cash cow!!

Chappell, NE
5/26/2015 07:51 AM

  Let's worry about the unsustainable price, not the unhatched eggs.


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