A new report from the Iowa Agricultural Statistics Service is forecasting the state will have a record corn crop this year. Director Greg Thessen says the forecast is based on conditions as of August 1st. It calls for a total corn yield of more than 2.44 million bushels and 185 bushels per acre.
Thessen says of the nine districts in the state, four are forecast to post record yields; central, east-central, south-central, and southeast. All nine districts are predicted to have higher yields this year compared to last. The statewide 185 bushels per acre forecast compares to 165 bushels per acre last year. If realized, the 2014 yield would be three bushels higher than the previous record set in 2009.
Thessen isn’t surprised by the forecast, despite the wetter-than-usual spring and the less than ideal growing conditions in July. “There was a patch of dry weather in July, but evidently the crop had enough moisture from the earlier rains,” Thessen said. “And with the cool weather, it sort of eliminates some of the water requirements that (the corn crop) would have needed, so that was beneficial.”
Soybean production in Iowa is forecast at just over 502 million bushels, up 22-percent from last year’s production of 411 million bushels. The record soybean yield in the state is 525 million bushels, in 2009. Thessen believes the soybean yield forecast to be released in September could be dramatically different from this month’s report. “The weather during August does have a big impact on the soybean crop,” Thessen said. “We won’t know the answer until we get back out into the fields at the end of this month.” The current forecast calls for a soybean harvest of 50 bushels per acre — an increase of 5.5 bushels from 2013.