Corn yields are the holy grail of corn production, high yields are worthy of bragging rights at the coffee shop and low yields are all the more reason not to leave the shop during the winter. All growers strive for the highest yields possible, but after anytime of farming a grower quickly realizes that we are not in total control of the entire yield equation.
2011 corn production proved to be quite an adventure no matter where you lived. The weather was challenging early to almost the entire state and caused major delays and challenges to planting. To some growers the weather continued to be challenging all year long, while to other growers the weather later in the growing season was extremely rewarding. The old adage of “rain makes grain” held true again in 2011. As the spring of 2012 quickly approaches, a final look at how the 2011 corn crop makes a nice bookend to a year no one will forget.
The above map shows the average corn yields for 2011, county by county. The county averages can help growers better understand how the weather impacted not only their area, but other areas around the state. Although there is no definite pattern, the map clearly shows those areas of the state that received favorable rainfall and those areas that did not.
One year’s record of corn production does not always show how corn production traditionally varies across the state. By taking a 5 year average a more concise picture of high production areas begins to show while areas of the state that have high yield limiting challenges also becomes clear.
The entire Corn Belt was again below trend line yields for the second year in a row. The reasons for the below trend line yields are similar to the yield limiting factors that some parts of Ohio experienced, heat and limited rainfall during pollination.