Grain harvest is already underway in a number of states but crop maturity and harvest progress so far are well behind year ago and five year average levels, according to Steve Meyer and Len Steiner, CME Group’s Daily Livestock Report authors.

A lot of the conversation in the marketplace has focused on the yield potential for the current crop. The latest USDA report indicated that corn yields this year are expected to be 161.9 bushels per acre, which would be a new all time record.

Meanwhile, corn futures are called 2 to 3 cents higher Wednesday morning, according to Doane’s Market Outlook. The Quarterly Stocks report was friendly for corn as September 1 stocks were pegged at 1.674 billion bushels, down 45 million from trade expectations. The number implies better than expected feed use last quarter. Read more.

The best crop yield on record was registered in the fall of 2004, with average yields 160.3 bushels per acre. Clearly if such a crop materializes it would be welcome news for livestock and poultry producers that are struggling with negative margins and soft domestic and export demand. However, there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding the current crop.

Corn futures have been trending higher in recent days as the market seeks to evaluate the potential damage that frost could have on the current crop. The current corn crop is far from mature, with crop maturity well behind 2008 levels and even further behind the five year average.

Source: Daily Livestock Report,  Doane