The overall quality of the 2015 corn crop was better than the average of the previous four crop years on most attributes, according to the U.S. Grain Council’s (USGC) “2015/2016 Corn Harvest Quality Report.” In fact, USGC said 94% of the samples would grade U.S. No. 2 or better.
Additionally, USGC said the 2015 U.S. corn crop is entering the market channel with an average moisture content below the four-year average, percent of stress cracks lower than the four-year average, and starch and oil concentrations and whole kernels higher than the four-year average (Figure).
“The higher quality was largely the result of a favorable corn growing season with earlier than normal planting, a cool, wet summer, and a warm, dry fall,” USGC noted in the report. “U.S. corn producers experienced record high yields in 2015, resulting in the third largest U.S. corn crop on record.”
Total U.S. corn production for 2015 is projected to be 346.8 million metric tons (13.65 million bushels), a 4% decrease in production over the 2014 corn crop, USGC said.
USGC said corn quality observed by buyers will be further affected by subsequent handling, blending and storage conditions. As such, it will release in early 2016 a second Council report, “2015/2016 Corn Export Cargo Quality Report”, which measures corn quality at export terminals at the point of loading for international shipment.
The U.S. is currently the top exporter of corn, with an estimated 38% of global corn exports during the 2015/2016 marketing year.