Corn Output Up in the U.S.

Madipally_cornThe thousands of field inspections that took place last week during the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour found corn output in the U.S. will be 0.4 percent over the government’s estimate. Many months of rain and mild weather created ideal growing conditions for the world’s top producer. According to, “Cheaper grain is bolstering profit for buyers including Tyson Foods Inc. and Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM), encouraging some cattle producers in the Great Plains to expand herds, and eroding income for farmers who say increased output will make up for some of the slump.”

Agricultural adviser Wessel Oosthuizen has 15 years of experience farming maze, beans, and potatoes. He says, “I think the demand will be stimulated by the lower price of Corn and Beans. But farmers will start to think seriously about the profitability of planting corn and beans. So I think they will start to plant less, especially on the more marginal fields. When the demand gets stronger and new season plantings are smaller, the price will recover. But for this season there will be a bear market.”

Pravinchandra Chaturlal Patel, Ph.D., is a soil science research scientist with over 38 years of experience in natural resources management. He specializes in increased crops production, quality and profit through nutrient and irrigation water managament. Dr. Chatur says, “The U.S. corn crop records during 2014 stem mainly from favorable climatic conditions. Corn crops require cool temperatures during the pollination period, for perfect grain filling. Luckily, in the Midwest of the U.S., the rains were received at the perfect time during the season. Moreover, the temperature remains cool, so it is the best weather for pollination and the production of big ears.

“In my native place (Gujarat, India), the farmers are also growing hybrid corn in the winter season, and they are obtaining higher corn yield as compared to rainy or summer seasons. The high yield is due to low temperature in the winter season which favors pollination. It has been scientifically proven that pollination requires cooler temperature.

“The biggest drivers for bumper crop yield are hybrid corn seeds, weather conditions and crop nutrition. The farmers are following best agriculture crop practices, and they have mechanized farming so that they carry out the timely operations of land preparation, sowing, fertilization, inter-culturing, weeding, irrigation, plant protection measure and harvesting, etc. This prevents the loss of any yield due to delaying the farm operation. The farmers also apply plant nutrients in the soil on a test basis, so balanced plant nutrition is created better plant growth—and it produces a higher crop yield. Hybrid corns yield potential, standability, maturity and other agronomic characteristics that affect profitable crop production. Hybrids have a deep root system which extracts more nutrients from the deeper soil layer to produce higher dry matter production and, therefore, higher grain yield.

“The farmers are following conventional tillage, reduced tillage and conservation tillage to store residue coverage on the soil. It is well documented that there is a benefit effect of conservation tillage in agriculture. They are following best management practices to reduce soil erosion, otherwise nutrients are lost in wind or water erosion. In addition, the farmers are including legume crop (soybean, lucerne) in the cropping system to sustain soil fertility. The legumes add nitrogen to the soil which helps improve soil fertility. The farmers are also following timely best management practice to control insect-pest e.g. integrated pest management, and they are adopting a proper drainage system to leach down excess salt from the field. Finally, corn crop should be sown in the winter season temperature (15-25 •C) to take the best advantageous of weather conditions for successful pollination for high yield potentiality.”

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