2012 corn harvest smaller, but test weight and protein upPrint
Despite a drought-stressed dent in yields and production and reports of higher levels of mycotoxins, the overall quality of the 2012 U.S. corn crop was high, according to the U.S. Grains Council’s Corn Harvest Quality Report 2012/13.
Total U.S. corn production fell in 2012 due to the worst drought in decades, but this year’s crop showed a year-over-year improvement in average text weight, protein levels and density, as well as lower moisture and broken corn and foreign material (BCFM) than the 2011 crop.
Samples of U.S. corn were gathered from 12 states that combined are the source for 99% of U.S. corn exports. Tests conducted on the samples cover grading factors like test weight, physical factors such as stress cracks and other items such as moisture, protein starch, oil and mycotoxins. Of 177 samples tested:
• average test weight for the 2012/13 crop was 58.8 lbs./bushel.
• protein content averaged 9.4%, up from 8.7% in 2011.
• starch content averaged 73.0% in 2012, close to the 73.4% found in 2011.
• 78.0% of samples had no detectable levels of aflatoxins (above 2.5 parts per billion, or ppb, down from 97.9% in 2011; 14.1% of the samples tested above the FDA action level of 20 ppb.
• 94.9% of samples, had no detectable levels of DON (less than the 0.2 parts per million, or ppm); 100% tested below or equal to the FDA advisory level of 5 ppm.
This is the second year for the Council’s Harvest Report. It assess the quality of the U.S. crop as it is delivered from farms to local elevators, the first step in entering international marketing channels. It will be followed in April 2013 by the second annual Corn Export Cargo Quality Report, which assess quality at the point of export.
The full report is available at the U.S. Grains Council website, www.grains.org.