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First U.S. corn harvested, yields below normal

07/12/2011 @ 12:01pm

Some of this year's first U.S. corn has been harvested in Louisiana. In northcentral Louisiana, early harvest yields are coming in between 12-18% below the average, according to one grain elevator operator.

Due to extreme heat stress, at least one irrigated field harvested Tuesday recorded a yield of 144 bu./acre, below a normal yield of 160 bushels per acre. 

With the state suffering the worst drought since the mid-1800's, the dryland corn yields are expected to come in below bookings, one Louisiana agronomist says.

Near, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, irrigated corn is expected to be harvested next week. Area farmers expect yields to come in around 130 bushels per acre, 15%-20% below the area's average yield. 

As Thursday's WASDE Report indicated a tightening of U.S. corn stocks, there are signs the demand for the first-harvested corn is out there, one Louisiana grain elevator says.

"I'm being outbid by 30¢ per bushel by some out-of-state buyers for this early corn," the grain elevator says.

Despite the Louisiana yield reports are coming in between 12%-18% lower than normal, it's within the range expected by the trade, one CME Group floor trader, requesting anonymity says. 

Meanwhile, the market is keeping a close eye on the demand for early harvested corn, the trader says. "I've heard that by August 15-20, about 20 million bushels of corn could come off fields in the South," the floor trader says.

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