U.S. corn farmers harvested a high-quality crop in 2011, according to a report released by the U.S. Grains Council. With good test weights, low damage and relatively high protein concentrations, the crop will require little drying and store well. The first report of this kind issued by the Council, this initial edition sets a baseline for subsequent annual updates while establishing credible criteria and processes through which to assess the crop.

“The global corn market is increasingly competitive, and the Council believes that the availability of accurate, consistent, and comparable information is in the long-term interests of all concerned,” said USGC Chairman Wendell Shauman. “Improved information will facilitate increased trade – and when trade works, the world wins.”

This report, created to answer buyers’ questions about the quality of the current U.S. crop and assist in making well-informed decisions, adds to the insight offered by the National Corn Growers Association in reports such as World of Corn.

“We are extremely pleased not only by the positive analysis of the crop, but also by the launch of the publication itself,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer. “One of the greatest tasks we face as an organization is educating consumers about what corn farmers do, why they do it and on the issues that affect the industry. The Council’s quality report provides the vital information needed to foster productive trade relationships and maintain healthy export markets.”

According to the report,the 2011 U.S. aggregate corn crop has these characteristics: 

  • Good test weight (58.1 lb/bu or 74.8 kg/hl), indicating well-filled kernels
  • Low levels of BCFM (1.0 percent) along with a high proportion of whole kernels (93.8 percent), possibly reducing storage risk
  • Low total damage (1.1 percent) with no reported heat damage
  • Elevator sample moisture averaging 15.6 percent with low variability, implying that the corn field dried well and should have good storability and require less drying overall
  • Average protein concentration of 8.7 percent (dry basis), relatively high compared to protein levels reported in recent years
  • Average starch levels of 73.4 percent (dry basis), signifying relatively good kernel filling and maturation, results beneficial for wet millers
  • Oil content averaging 3.7 percent (dry basis)
  • Low stress cracks (3 percent), suggesting the possibility of reduced rates of breakage as corn is handled, good wet milling starch recovery, dry milling yields of flaking grits, and good alkaline processing
  • Average true densities in a medium range, which should be good for wet milling and feeding, while samples with high true density levels are implying availability of corn well suited for dry milling and alkaline processing uses.