Results of the 2006 Corn Harvest Tour, conducted by the Nebraska Corn Board, show a nearly 5% reduction in yield from the 2005 results.
Each year, the Nebraska Corn Board collects corn samples from fields in 32 counties across the state. The samples are then analyzed for yield and quality. This year's results indicate a 4.7% decrease in yield compared to last year's tour results.
Randy Klein, director of market development for the Nebraska Corn Board, says that the yield reduction is not surprising given the challenging weather conditions experienced by much of the state in 2006.
"The 106 samples we collected this fall produced an average yield of 156.9 bushels per acre, compared to last year's tour average of 164.7 bushels per acre," Klein says. "This summer's hot and dry spell certainly took its toll on the crop. Dryland yields were hit pretty hard, but some good irrigated yields kept that overall average yield from falling any further."
The quality of the 2006 Nebraska corn crop was once again excellent, according to Klein. Twenty-six of the samples graded U.S. No. 1, with the remaining six samples grading No. 2. The average test weight was 57.2 pounds per bushel, which is easily above the 56 pounds required for a No. 1 grade.
"While the quality is excellent, it is down a little from last year's exceptional year. Last year all but one sample graded No. 1 and the average test weight was a record 58.8 pounds per bushel," Klein says. "Part of the reason for the slightly lower test weight could be the higher moisture content in the corn. Moisture was 20.8% this year compared to 18.2% from the 2005 harvest tour. As moisture content decreases, test weight will increase."
Once again, no aflatoxin was found in any of the samples.
The Corn Harvest Tour results will once again be distributed to corn buyers across the U.S. and around the world, Klein says, assuring them of Nebraska's continued ability to produce a tremendous supply of extremely high quality corn.