Corn Export Cargo Quality Report 2011/2012

Export Cargo Quality Highlights

Sampled lots of the 2011/2012 corn crop were in good condition as they were being assembled for loading onto ocean vessels for export. Uniformity of the quality attributes generally increased as the corn moved through the market channel. Notable quality attributes include:

  • Grade factors (test weight, BCFM and total damage) on most sublot samples were at or better than the U.S. grade limits, and compared favorably to analysis of previous years in the USDA/GIPSA annual report.
  • Test weight was above the grade limit for U.S. No. 1 corn in 95% of the samples, indicating clean, sound corn.
  • BCFM increased as the crop moved through the market channel but was still below the maximum limit in each contract grade.
  • Total damage increased during storage and transport, but still nearly 90% of the samples in all grades was below the grade limit for U.S. No. 2 corn.
  • Average moisture levels in both contract grades (U.S. No. 2 or better and U.S. No. 3 or better) were at safe storage levels for transport in ocean vessels, and uniformity among sublots increased relative to Harvest Report results. More than 75% were at or below 14.5% moisture.
  • Sample test results for additional quality factors in this report also were indicative of a good quality 2011 corn crop.
  • Protein content was unchanged from Harvest Report levels, and at 8.7% (dry basis), was better than reported in recent years. It was highest in the Southern Rail ECA (9.1%).
  • Starch content was slightly higher than Harvest Report samples, with 60% of the samples equal to or above 74% (dry basis).
  • Oil content was 0.1 percentage point below the Harvest Report level, but still 23% of all samples had oil content of 3.75% or higher (dry basis).
  • Low levels of stress cracks (10%) and relatively high whole kernels (87.5%) in the export samples indicate good potential for reduced breakage when corn is handled, improved wet milling starch recovery, improved dry milling yields of flaking grits, and good alkaline processing ability.
  • Approximately 60% of export samples had horneous endosperm less than 85% indicating corn with desirable softness for the wet millers and feeders.
  • All of the sublot samples tested below the FDA action level of 20 ppb for aflatoxins and the FDA advisory levels for DON (10 ppm for chicken and cattle, and 5ppm for hogs and other animals).