Table of Contents:
- Corn, Soybean Harvest Nearly Complete
- <strong>Grain Prices Strong</strong>
- Minnesota's 2010 harvest was highly variable, mainly due to the erratic weather conditions during the growing season
- Most of the 2010 corn crop was harvested with a test weight of 57-60 lbs./bu.
- Many are comparing the current market scenario to fall 2007 into the 2008 crop year
The 2010 corn and soybean harvest is nearly completed in most areas of southern Minnesota, with the exception of a few fields and farms where wet soil conditions slowed the harvest process. In recent days, farm operators have been busy completing primary tillage, applying fall anhydrous and dry fertilizer applications, as well as injecting liquid swine manure for the 2011 crop year. Conditions for completing harvest and the other fall crop-production practices have been almost ideal.
In most areas of southern Minnesota, the 2010 harvest was highly variable, mainly due to the erratic weather conditions during the growing season. Whole-field corn yields generally ranged from 170 to 210 bu./acre across the region, with that variation sometimes occurring on the same farm or in the same township. Some whole-field yield levels were even lower in areas that were hard-hit by wind and hail storms, as well as heavy rains in mid-summer and again in September. The rather large yield variation in 2010 corn yields was due to the large amount of severe weather occurrences across southern Minnesota during the growing season, extended periods of excessive soil moisture in areas with poor field drainage, loss of available nitrogen following heavy rains in June, as well as crop rotation and corn hybrid differences.
The good news with the 2010 corn harvest was the dryness of the corn and the quality of the corn at harvest. Most of the corn harvested in southern Minnesota in October was at 13-17% moisture, meaning it could go directly to farm grain bins without additional drying, or could be hauled to grain warehouses with little or no price dockage for excess kernel moisture. Most of the 2010 corn crop was harvested with a test weight of 57-60 lbs./bu. – well above the standard test weight of 56 lbs. This corn quality results in higher-quality corn for processors, and in improved feed efficiency for livestock producers.
By comparison, in early November 2009, over half of the corn remained to be harvested, and most corn was being harvested at 24-30% moisture, requiring considerable drying before being placed in storage; corn test weights were 49-52 lbs./bu. This resulted in very high corn-drying costs in 2009, as well as large discounts for moisture and corn quality on 2009 corn that was sold at harvest.
In addition, local corn prices in early November 2010 are approximately $1.50/bu. higher than they were in early November 2009. So, even if some corn yields are a bit disappointing, the overall profit from the 2010 corn crop will likely exceed 2009 profit levels for most producers, due to lower corn drying costs, fewer quality discounts and higher corn prices.