Millions of bushels of corn still in the field

Dec 11, 2009
by DTN

Nebraska is predicted to harvest the state’s largest corn crop in history this year, with a total production of nearly 1.6 billion bushels on a record yield of 178 bushels per acre. Yet, getting that crop in the bin is proving to be a challenge, according to a news release from the Nebraska Corn Board (NCB).

As a major winter storm rolled into the Midwest last Tuesday, the release said Nebraska still has 12 percent of its corn yet to harvest, according to the Nebraska Ag Statistics Service.

“While 12 percent may not seem like much, it adds up to approximately 180 million bushels still in the field with a farm-gate value of more than $630 million,” Don Hutchens, executive director of NCB, said in a statement. “And, if it is your crop still in the field, it will create some sleepless nights and financial concern.”

Farmers have a tremendous investment in land, seed, fertilizer and machinery, and they depend on harvest to make sure they have a means to pay for all of that.

It appears that not all of the current crop will be harvested in 2009, said NCB Chairman Alan Tiemann in a statement, “and it has been a long time since we have seen harvest on that many acres carry into the next year.”

Nationwide, corn yields have been steadily increasing and the U.S. is looking to harvest nearly 13 billion bushels.

Other states are worse off than Nebraska, the news release said. North Dakota’s harvest is only 53 percent completed, South Dakota is 73 percent harvested, and Wisconsin is 77 percent completed. The top five corn-producing states nationally that produce more than 60 percent of the U.S. corn crop are 85 percent complete or better as of Dec. 6, according to Nebraska Ag Statistics Service.

Nebraska is the third-largest cornproducing state and is anticipating a 221-million-bushel carryover in corn this year, but the carryover could be reduced with about 180 million bushels still in the field. — DTN