The impending US corn crop continues to impress and is on an unprecedented pace, with a possible harvest of 15.15 BILLION bushels. This would be an 11% increase over last year's harvest and would also top the previous US harvest record of 14.2 billion bushels, set in 2014. Data from yesterday's USDA report projects a national average yield of 175.1/bpa, which would shatter the previous record of 171/bpa in 2014.
Here in Iowa, the largest corn producing state in the country, the yield estimates are for 197/bpa, which would beat last year's mark (and current state record yield) of 192/bpa. Here are the recent yield estimates for some of the major corn producing states:
South Dakota: 147
The weekend rains in the Ohio brought some drought relief to areas, which really needed the moisture, but the Ohio corn crop has been challenged this year due to lack of rain and heat.
The Corn Belt will get a break from the recent heat wave, as the coming two weeks show colder than normal temperatures throughout the entire region. Some models are not seeing daytime highs in the northern halves of Illinois, Ohio & Indiana for the next two weeks.
Experts also believe we will see a more active hurricane season this year. If we see any tropical disturbances in the Gulf over the next two to three weeks, we could see more rains re-curve up the Ohio Valley as we saw this past weekend from an unnamed tropical system that dumped enormous amounts of water from Louisiana, through Indianapolis and into Ohio.
None of these guarantee a grain-drying season, but these factors certainly don't hurt. The biggest question, and one we cannot answer with much confidence right now, is this:
Will the corn dry down in the fields in September the way it has the past two years?
That's why now is a good time to fill those propane tanks, especially on your corn dryers.