Friday, January 11, 2013

Drought Doesn't Stop Record Corn Year

Even though the worst drought in decades devastated expectations for an enormous corn harvest, it wasn't enough to result in a record year for the grain, which was valued at approximately $85 billion. That came about from the high price of corn, which lingered above $7 a bushel during the majority of the summer and fall seasons.

While that may suggest to some that corn could have surpassed a value of $100 billion if there hadn't been a drought, that wouldn't have been the case because the price of corn would never had soared to the levels it did with what would have been enormous supply.

According to the final report of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 2012, there were 10.78 billion bushels of corn harvested for the year, down by over 25 percent from projections in the spring of the year.

Hit particularly hard was Illinois, which normally is the second-largest producer of corn in the United States. It fell to fourth place for 2012, dropping behind perennial leader Iowa, along with Nebraska and Minnesota.

Iowa finished 2012 with 1.87 billion bushels, down 20 percent from 2011. Minnesota was next with 1.37 billion bushels, with Nebraska finishing third with 1.29 billion. Illinois ended with 1.28 billion.

Corn production in Illinois was down 34 percent from 2011, and Nebraska ended the year down 16 percent. Minnesota finished the year with production up 14 percent because it was among the least affected of the states residing in the corn belt.

Average yield across the United States for 2012 was 123.4 bushels an acre.

With weather patterns of the past many times showing droughts coming in twos, the ongoing drought, which has been hidden by the winter, hasn't shown any signs of slowing down, with about 60 percent of the United States still experiencing drought conditions to some degree.

While it's unlikely to be as bad as last year, 2013 could be another tough year as far as production goes, but wildly lucrative for those that bring in a good corn harvest.

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