USGC rolls out report citing high-quality, near-record yield

By U.S. Grains Council | January 10, 2019

The U.S. Grains Council is rolling out the good news that a warm and moist growing season resulted in near-record yields and good quality for the 2018 corn crop.

The 2018/2019 Corn Harvest Quality Report is the Council’s eighth annual corn quality survey. According to it, the majority of 2018 corn crop conditions were rated as good or excellent during the growing season, leading to strong plant health, good kernel size and a projected crop of 371.52 million metric tons (14.626 billion bushels), the third-largest crop on record.

“The Council is pleased to offer this report as not only a service to our partners, but also as fulfillment of our mission to develop markets, enable trade and improve lives,” said Jim Stitzlein, USGC chairman. “The Council is committed to the furtherance of global food security and mutual economic benefit through trade, and we hope this report continues to provide readers accurate and timely insight into the quality of the 2018 U.S. corn crop.”

The Council has already begun its annual roll-out events—in Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and the Philippines—with unprecedented interest from more than 370 buyers and others interested in the state of U.S. corn, co-products and sorghum and will offer a series of roll-outs and road shows in locations around the world this month. During these events, crop quality information is accompanied by presentations on U.S. corn grading and handling, which helps provide a better understanding of how U.S. corn is moved and controlled through export channels.

The report showed 93.9 percent of tested U.S. corn samples rated at U.S. Grade No. 2 or better; this was largely the result of a warm, wet vegetative period and a moderate pollination and grain-filling period. The drier, moderate temperatures during the second half of the growing season promoted healthy plants, good test weights and low kernel damage.

Average test weight of 58.4 pounds per bushel (75.1 kilograms per hectoliter) was higher than the five-year average and indicates good kernel filling and maturation. Average 100-kernel weight of 35.07 grams was lower than 2017, but above the five-year average.

All but one sample, or 99.5 percent of samples, tested below the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) action level for aflatoxin (20 parts per billion). One-hundred percent of the samples tested below the FDA advisory level for deoxynivalenol (DON), or vomitoxin, for chicken, cattle, hogs and other animals.

The 2018/2019 Corn Harvest Quality Report provides timely information about the quality of the current U.S. corn crop at harvest as it enters international merchandising channels. This information will be supplemented by a second report, the 2018/2019 Corn Export Cargo Quality Report, scheduled for early 2019, that measures corn quality at export terminals at the point of loading for international shipment.

“The Council’s series of quality reports uses consistent and transparent methodology to allow for comparisons across time,” Stitzlein wrote in the USGC’s report greeting. “This enables buyers to make well-informed decisions and have confidence in the capacity and reliability of the U.S. corn market.”

Council staff globally will continue their roll-outs and roadshows including presentations, meetings and conferences through the first quarter of 2019 and aim to arm participants with clear expectations regarding the quality of corn for this marketing year.

Additional roll-out events are scheduled this month in Mexico, Colombia, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, North Africa and the Middle East.

Read the full 2018/2019 USGC Corn Harvest Quality Report here.