Fundamentally Speaking
Joel Karlin DTN Contributing Analyst

Friday 08/24/12

Corn Yield Differentials in Top 17 States Relative to Iowa

Despite the worst U.S. drought since the Dust Bowl years that has decimated the nation’s corn and soybean crops among others, there are a few spots that have done relatively well so far in 2012.

In its August crop production report, the USDA indicated that corn yields in CO, NC, PA, and TX will be higher than seen the prior year with MN and ND not too far behind.

This shows how states outside the core Midwest regions fared far better than most Corn Belt states except for those in the north that had better moisture distribution.

One interesting way to look at this is to see how much corn yields in Iowa differed from corn yields in the other 17 top producing states.

We chose Iowa not only because it produces more corn than any other state in the union but also usually has the higher average yield for the top 18 producing states.

In fact, the 1990-2011 average Iowa corn yield is 150 bushels per acre (bpa) which is two bpa higher than the next state Illinois whose average 1990-2011 corn yield is 148 bpa.

The worst yielding state relative to Iowa from 1990-2011 was North Carolina whose average yield of 96 bpa is 54 below the Iowa average.

This graphic shows the yield differential between Iowa and the other 17 states using the 190-2011 average.

We also plotted the 2012 difference using the August USDA yield data.

These numbers really show who has done well and poor this year compared to Iowa. For instance, three states have 2012 yields above Iowa including NE, MN, and TX.

Now Nebraska average corn yields are seven bpa below Iowa and Minnesota has averaged 8 bushels below so the fact that each of these states have higher 2012 corn yields than Iowa is a little unusual but certainly within the realm of possibilities.

The fact that the Texas estimated yield of 150 bpa is nine higher than Iowa is very strange especially given TX yields average 30 bpa below average Iowa yields.

The contrast with last year is stunning with TX having 2011 corn yields 79 bushels below Iowa.

In fact the only time when TX yields were higher than Iowa’s at least since 1990 was in 1993 when the Iowa crop was flooded out and Texas had a decent year so that their yield was 35 bpa higher.


Posted at 8:59AM CDT 08/24/12
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