USGC Survey: Top Quality Across Corn Belt

USGC survey shows overall quality of corn crop is high, with good kernel filling and maturation.
By Susanne Retka Schill | February 16, 2015

For the fourth year, the U.S. Grains Council provided a survey-based report and narrative on the year’s weather and crop conditions for foreign buyers of U.S. corn. In its report on the 2014 crop, the USGC averages the results of 629 samples collected on incoming corn at local grain elevators in 12 of the top corn-producing and exporting states.

The overall quality of the corn crop is high, the USGC reports. The average test weight was 57.6 pounds per bushel, with nearly 95 percent of the samples above the limit for No. 2 corn. “While lower than 2013 and the [three-year average], this test weight indicates good kernel filling and maturation,” the report says. The survey found low levels of broken corn and foreign material at 0.8 percent on average, although 1.7 percent higher total damage levels than previous years. Nearly 95 percent of the samples, however, were still below the limit for No. 2 corn. Moisture was 16.6 percent, lower than 2013, but higher than the three-year average. Protein at 8.5 percent dry basis was lower than 2013, 2012 and the three-year average. Starch concentrate was 73.5 percent dry basis and the oil concentration of 3.8 percent dry basis was higher than last year, as well as the three-year average.

All the USGC samples tested below the FDA aflatoxin action level. There were significantly lower incidents of aflatoxins compared to the 2012 crop and similar to the 2013 crop. All of the samples tested below FDA action levels for DON (vomitoxin) for all animal species, although somewhat higher than the previous two crops. 

Besides making the report available on its websites, USGC representatives have begun presenting the findings to customers in overseas markets to provide them “the critical information they need to make informed purchases and build confidence in the quality of this year’s corn crop,” the USGC says in a report on some of those first meetings.

For related reading, check out the results of an EPM survey of corn quality

Author: Susanne Retka Schill
Senior Editor, Ethanol Producer Magazine
[email protected]