Warm, dry weather throughout much of the country has accelerated corn maturity and helped growers get their crop in faster, according to the National Corn Growers Association.

Figures from the USDA show more than 95 percent of the crop has reached maturity. In addition, current estimates show that more than 40 percent of the crop is already harvested. This is a much higher figure than the five-year average of 30 percent.

The speed at which the crop is maturing is helping to prove high yield predictions. On Sept. 12, USDA estimated that the 2007 crop yield would reach 155.8 bushels per acre. That would be the second highest U.S. corn yield ever, exceeded only by a yield of 160.4 bushels per acre recorded in 2004. Total production this year was estimated at 13.3 billion bushels.