With more than 90 percent of the state’s corn crop harvested, the University of Missouri Variety Testing Program reports yields far exceeding national averages.
MU Extension specialist Bill Wiebold said Missouri averaged more than 200 bushels per acre. “Those are amazing yields,” he said.
Wiebold said this is the best yield he has seen since he began working with the program in 2000. Yields in northern Missouri, where fields are not irrigated, topped 200 bushels per acre this year. Yields in 2013 were 150 bushels per acre.
“When you see yields averaging over 200 bushels across the state, it’s an indication of good weather,” Wiebold said. He also credited improvements made in hybrid yields by seed corn companies.
USDA predicts record-high average yields of 173.4 bushels per acre nationally. High yields may help offset low prices of $3.01 to $3.32 per bushel across mid-Missouri Monday.
Yields topped the 300 bushel per acre mark at irrigated test plots in southeastern Missouri. Good soil and irrigated fields in that part of the state create consistently high-producing yields, Wiebold said.
The Division of Plant Sciences in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources has conducted the variety-testing program for more than 75 years. Since 1973, seed companies and groups have chosen several of their best varieties for evaluation at farmer-owned fields and MU test plots. Test fields are located in 14 farmer fields and four MU farms throughout the state. MU researchers publish unbiased results online and in a booklet.
Wiebold said plants on a couple test sites were destroyed by thunderstorms and green snap, which is the sudden breakage of cornstalks by strong winds during the rapid-growth stages of the corn.
The highest mean yield in the test was 308.3 bushels per acre, with the grand mean at 279.2 bushels per acre in the southeast region. The lowest mean yield was 222.7 bushels per acre.
The Nov. 17 USDA Crop Progress report said 100 percent of corn has been harvested in the southern regions of Missouri. USDA reports more than 16 percent of the corn crop remains in the field in northern Missouri, where rainfall delayed harvest for more than a week in October.
Wiebold reported that northern Missouri’s nonirrigated fields yielded 236.2 bushels per acre. The lowest-testing varieties produced 192.5 bushels per acre, with the grand mean at 215.6. Harvesting is about 80 percent complete in northern Missouri and more than 90 percent done in central Missouri.
The nonirrigated central region of the state produced a high mean yield of 245.7 bushels per acre and a low of 193.8. Grand mean was 220.7 bushels per acre. Irrigated fields of central Missouri produced a high mean yield of 269.9 bushels per acre. Low was 194 bushels per acre and the grand mean was 232.6 bushels per acre.
Irrigated land in southwestern Missouri shows the lowest yields statewide. The highest yields there were 181.5 bushels, the lowest 166.3.
For updated information, go to http://varietytesting.missouri.edu/corn/.