Corn Harvest Quality Report 2017/2018

Broken Corn

Broken corn in U.S. grades is based on particle size and usually includes a small percent of non-corn material. Broken corn is more subject to mold and insect damage than whole kernels, and it can cause problems in handling and processing. When not spread or stirred in a storage bin, broken corn tends to stay in the center of the bin, while whole kernels are likely to gravitate outward to the edges. The center area in which broken corn tends to accumulate is known as a “spout-line.” If desired, the spout-line can be reduced by drawing this grain out of the center of the bin.


Broken corn in the U.S. Aggregate samples averaged 0.5% in 2016, slightly lower than 2015 and 2014 (both 0.6%), and 5YA (0.7%).

The variability of broken corn for the 2016 crop was similar to previous years and 5YA, as measured by standard deviations. Standard deviations for 2016, 2015, 2014, and 5YA were 0.34%, 0.42%, 0.36%, and 0.44%, respectively.

The range in broken corn values in 2016 (3.8%) was narrower than 2015 (7.5%), but slightly wider than 2014 (3.2%).

The 2016 samples were distributed with 90.8% having less than 1.0% broken corn, compared to 89% in 2015 and 87% in 2014. This lower percentage of samples with less than 1% broken corn in 2014 may have been a result of harvesting corn with higher average moisture in 2014.

The percentage of broken corn for the Gulf, Pacific Northwest, and Southern Rail ECAs (0.5%, 0.6%, and 0.5%, respectively) differed by only 0.1% across the ECAs.

The distribution chart on the next page, displaying broken corn as a percentage of BCFM, shows that in nearly all samples, BCFM consisted primarily of broken corn. These results were similar to what was found in previous years.