News & Events
The second of three U.S. Grains Council (USGC) videos chronicling the 2015 U.S. corn growing season is now available online, highlighting conditions on farms in Iowa, Minnesota and Texas.
The segment is available online at http://tinyurl.com/corncrop15.
Summer weather helped the U.S. corn crop get off to a good start this year in the Corn Belt. But some farmers in the Southwest who dealt with a wet spring continued to see wetter than average conditions.
“Our weather’s been really wet for the entire year so far,” said Texas farmer Chad Wetzel in June. “We’ve had record amounts of rainfall in April and May.”
But Wetzel caught a break during pollination with some dry weather in his region. Corn pollinates better in dry weather so that’s a positive step for yields.
Technology also helps farmers obtain the highest possible yields.
“Today with GPS [Global Positioning System] you are able to get a big picture of everything happening on your farm in a simple digital format,” said Iowa corn farmer Mark Heckman. “It helps in the following year to evaluate your crop hybrid selection and ultimately improve your operation.”
When technology, farm management and weather all come together, the result is an outstanding crop. In Minnesota this year, farmers saw some early stress with cool weather but the crop took off when it warmed up.
“It took about two months for this corn to grow to 18 inches tall as the crop was under a lot of stress,” said Minnesota corn farmer Gary Purath. “But in the two weeks that followed, it grew to be up over my head. Overall, the crop in Minnesota looks exceptional, and I think we are headed for a record crop.”
This is true for most areas of the United States as the USDA’s September World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report estimated this year’s corn crop at 13.6 billion bushels (345 million metric tons).
The next installment of this video series, available in late fall, will revisit these farmers to show the final yields of their corn crop.