First Three Iowa Districts Show Lower Corn Yields

August 18, 2010 07:45 PM


Numbers coming in from the initial swing through western Iowa show considerably decreased yields when compared to year ago levels on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, released Wednesday night.

Northwest Iowa numbers show yields 14 bu./acre lower than 2009, southwest Iowa looks to be 8.8 bu./acre lower, and the biggest number is 21 bu./acre lower in west central Iowa. But how much stock can be put in these numbers right now?

Pro Farmer Editor, Chip Flory issues two very strong caveats when looking at these numbers. First, USDA’s August report shows reduced production in this region with its August report; second, there are still six more crop districts to report from the Iowa tour; third, while the numbers show lower production here, the numbers in Indiana and Ohio have increased and can make up for lost production in Iowa.

The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour averages compared to 2009 are:

  • Northwest Iowa down 14.09 bu./acre
  • West central Iowa down 21.61 bu.acre
  • Southwest Iowa down 8.8 bu./acre

USDA’s August 13, 2010 Iowa Crop District report showed:

  • Northwest Iowa down 1 bu./acre from last year
  • West central Iowa down 8 bu./acre
  • Southwest Iowa down 20 bu./acre

Thomas Grisafi, an independent commodity trader and owner of Indiana Grain Co., says the news is alarming, but he feels the market has already accounted for this kind of yield change. "The spread from December 2010 to December 2011 is already there, so it’s showing the market is aware of something. There are premiums for holding the crop and that shows there is concern already there."

Flory also points out that the number from Indiana and Ohio came in higher than last year. Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour numbers for Indiana corn yield showed an increase of 9.74 bu./acre. That number alone accounts for 57.2 million bu. of corn increase from that state. The differences in the three Iowa districts represented account for a 70.5 million bu. loss. Add the extra bushels from Ohio, as represented by the increased production shown on the tour, 19.8 million bushels of production, which more than makes up for the increase in Iowa when combining those two states together.

However, of the six districts remaining to be covered in Iowa on the Crop Tour, five were reported with expected losses in yield by USDA’s August 12 report. Only northeast Iowa is expected to show a yield increase, according to USDA numbers and that is a meager 2.5 million bushels.

The final numbers from Minnesota and Iowa will be released Thursday night as the Crop Tour comes to a close in Austin, Minn. Pro Farmer will release it’s official 2010 production estimates on Friday afternoon. 

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