I. HARVEST QUALITY HIGHLIGHTS
The 2012 U.S. corn crop was adversely affected by a severe drought across much of the Corn Belt, resulting in reduced total production and lower average yield. Despite the drought, however, the overall quality of the final 2012 corn crop was good.
For most quality factors, the 2012 U.S. corn harvest sample test results reflected higher quality compared to the 2011 harvest. The 2012 corn crop is entering the marketing channel in good condition with the following characteristics:
- High test weight (58.8 lb/bu compared to 58.1 lb/bu in 2011) with 99.7% of the samples above the No. 2 grade minimum, indicating well filled kernels. Metric test weight was 75.6 kg/hl (74.8 kg/hl in 2011).
- Low levels of BCFM (0.8% compared to 1.0% in 2011) along with 94.4% whole kernels (93.8% in 2011), which suggest reduced storage risk.
- Low total damage (0.8% compared to 1.1% in 2011) with no reported heat damage (0% also in 2011).
- Elevator sample moisture average of 15.3% (compared to 15.6% in 2011), implying that much of the corn was field dried which should improve storability and require less drying at the elevators.
- Average protein concentration of 9.4% dry basis, relatively high compared to protein levels in 2011 (8.7%).
- Average starch levels of 73.0% dry basis (73.4% in 2011), signifying relatively good kernel filling and maturation, results beneficial for wet millers.
- Oil content averaging 3.7% dry basis (also 3.7% in 2011).
- Low stress cracks (4% compared to 3% in 2011) which should result in low breakage as corn is handled; suggesting that the corn will perform well in processing with good wet milling starch recovery, high dry milling yields of flaking grits, and good alkaline processing.
- Average true densities of 1.276 g/cm3 (compared to 1.267 g/cm3 in 2011) which should be good for wet milling and feeding. High percent of horneous (hard) endosperm (85% compared to 84% in 2011).
- Around 86% of the corn samples tested for aflatoxins below the FDA action level of 20 ppb (compared to approximately 98% in 2011).
- 100% of the corn samples tested for DON or vomitoxin below the FDA advisory levels for DON (5 ppm for hogs and other animals and 10 ppm for chicken and cattle) (same as in 2011).