Posted by: usset001 | August 23, 2012

Minnesota corn yield potential is about average, and much greater than the rest of the country

For the U.S., 1988 was the worst crop conditions recorded since 1986, when USDA started estimating crop conditions. 1988 was also one of the poorest corn crops harvested in the past 100 years (measured relative to trend yield).

Every week during the growing season, USDA/NASS publishes a Crop Progress report. This document notes the development stage of major crops and the crop condition, by state and nationally. Crop conditions are noted by percentage of the crop rated excellent, good, fair, poor and very poor.

These ratings go back to 1986 and give us a good opportunity to compare crop conditions from one year to the next. I’m not sure who was first to do it, but one enterprising individual went so far as to create a crop conditions index out of these ratings. They took the percent rated excellent and multiplied by 5, percent good by 4, percent fair by 3, etc. The end result is a single number, based on weekly USDA crop ratings. An index of 500 reflects a crop in excellent condition, 400 is good, 300 is fair, 200 is poor and 100 is very poor.

Minnesota conditions are about average, and not nearly as bad as 1988 or 1993 – the two worst years since 1986. 2010 show us how good it can be.

Minnesota is doing OK in the crop conditions department, with crop ratings similar to the long term average. Minnesota crop ratings are much better than any other major corn producing state. Our state may not harvest a record corn crop but it will be much better than our neighbors in any direction.

Is this odd, to have one state differ so sharply in yields from the others? It may be odd but not unprecedented – consider the case of 1976. In 1976, Minnesota corn growers had a disastrous crop, averaging 59 bu./acre, nearly 35 bushels below trend. Nationally, corn yields were just a few bushels off trend, despite the fact that Minnesota is a major corn producing state, and a piece of the national yield estimate.


  1. I’m going to plant corn next year. I need to know the way for selling my corn in the full. who can tell me the way.

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