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Corn Yields Coming In Higher Than Expected
Farmers are getting a nice surprise this fall. After a slow start to the growing season due to excessive rain, corn yields are exceeding expectations.
Currently, experts with the Scouler Company say only about 20 percent of corn is in, but it's already shockingly good news.
"Moisture was generally hit or miss over the summer, and farmers were generally pegging their yields at 160-170 bushels per acre on their corn. Some of the early yields we've hear are over 200 bushels," Dustin Loeseke, facility manager of the Waverly grain elevator, said.
Just last month, estimates were much lower than what is now actually being harvested. It took farmers getting out in the fields to see what's turning into an impressive harvest.
"With these good yields we're seeing, it's very possibly this country could be having a record crop," Merchandiser Jerry Polykandriotis said.
It's not all good news though. More corn means lower prices for farmers. A mild summer means farmers will likely still pay to dry the corn.
"All the corn that is coming in pretty much is having to be dried. Moisture out in the field is ranging anywhere from 20-30 percent yet, all over the place. That's part of one of the reasons the farmers aren't in a big hurry to go out and pick the corn--because they don't want to pay the big drying fee," Loseke explained.
The farming industry is also feeling the effects of the government shutdown. Weekly crop reports are not being developed and posted, despite the fact farmers are in the middle of the harvest. The good news is that there are other ways to get caught up on this season's harvest.
"There's some reporting that just isn't out there, but private analysts have done a very good job of keeping us up to date with what they're seeing," Polykandriotis said.
The high yields will end up affecting almost everyone in the long run. More corn at lower prices means feed for livestock is cheaper, so eventually consumers will see lower costs at the grocery store.
The impressive yields also mean ethanol, developed from corn, will be cheaper to produce, so drivers could see lower costs at the pump as well.
This harvest is a major rebound from 2012. Corn yields were closer to 100 bushels per acre, due to moderate to severe drought conditions in central Illinois.