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Early corn harvest brought by heat, drought

Rapid finish to crop's maturity may lower crop quality or reduce grain yields.

Corn Harvest Tractor In Field U D98yqqemck Pixabay
u_d98yqqemck | Pixabay.com

Corn harvesting in the Midwest is starting earlier than normal due to hot, dry weather. 

According to reports, the weather has sped up the corn crop's maturity. Analysts and agronomists noted the rapid finish may lower crop quality or reduce grain yields in the main growing areas because more weather-shrunken kernels are needed to fill each bushel. Some farmers with lower quality corn may have to sell it at a discount.

In its weekly report on September 4, the USDA said 18% of the U.S. corn crop was mature as of Sept. 3, compared with the 10-year average of 13%. In Iowa, 17% of the crop was mature as of September 3, up from 10% mature at the same time last year and the most since 2012. The start of Iowa's corn harvest is about a week to 10 days earlier than normal.

The USDA has predicted corn production will be up 10% from 2022, with 15.1 billion bushels forecast in its August Crop Production report.

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