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How High Could US Average Corn Yields Soar? - 15 July 2014

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Tuesday 15th July 2014.
Sarah Mikesell - TheCropSite Senior Editor

Sarah Mikesell
Senior Editor



How High Could US Average Corn Yields Soar? 

Greetings from sunny, warm, beautiful England! I’m up in Sheffield this week visiting our home office.

Last week I attended the Wyffels Hybrids Corn Strategies conference near Knoxville, Illinois, USA.

I’ve said this before…so please pardon my repeating myself – this is my favorite conference that I attend all year. Spectacular people, awesome information, phenomenal weather and great food. And this year was no exception.

Insights from this year’s speakers:

David Kohl, professor emeritus, Virginia Tech University, told farmers that they must know their cost of production in order to develop a financial strategy and reduce risk.

Kohl said it’s not going to be nearly as easy to make money over the next five years as farmers did during the last 10, due to high market volatility. For grains, the easy money has been made, but there is opportunity for really good managers to make money, he explained.

Roger Bernard, policy analyst with Informa Economics, said Washington DC's hottest topic is the upcoming elections - the controlling party in the Senate and the House will have a big say in setting the agenda and direction for agriculture.

Bernard said Republicans have a good opportunity to make significant gains in the Senate. But in 2016, Republicans will have a lot of seats to defend.

Matt Roberts, agricultural economist at The Ohio State University, said the current corn crop has set the foundation for average yields to bust through the record - he believes they could go as high as 174-175 bushels per acre. The previous record corn yield of 164.7 bushels per acre was set in 2009. Roberts says the 2014 average corn yield has the potential to push a new record higher by a significant margin.

He also noted that prices could drop another 40 to 50 cents going into the fall. With lower grain prices, he questions when livestock producers will start adding corn back into their feed ration.

Bob Wyffels, VP Production with Wyffels Hybrids, said moisture and sunlight have been very good ahead of pollination which is expected over the next two weeks. Weed, disease and insect pressure have been minor, and he estimates that Wyffels' seed production is above target from an agronomic standpoint.

Wyffels said pockets of the Midwest have seen hail, wind and water damage, but as the overall corn crop moves into flowering, he expects strong results from this season's crop.

The Wyffels event was hosted by Wild Rose Farm, Inc., owned and operated by Lance and Gloria Humphreys.

It’s a small world story: at the Wyffels conference I was standing in line next to a farmer whose name seemed familiar. Turns out that we follow each other on Twitter. So a shout-out to @PitstickFarms.

You can find me on Twitter at @SarahMikesell

Have a great week!



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