While projections for the 2010 corn crop may not be in complete agreement, everyone is certain it will be a very good harvest.

With estimates of between 13.29 billion and 13.365 billion bushels, U.S. corn growers are on course to set yet another production record this year, easily surpassing the 13.1 billion bushel harvest record set in 2009.

“As harvest begins, we are excited about and energized by the record predictions in these reports,” said National Corn Growers Association President Darrin Ihnen, a grower from Hurley, S.D. “Corn is fundamental as a staple crop in this country and this bountiful harvest helps create and maintain jobs while directly helping many consumers by keeping food, fuel and fiber prices down.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture supply and demand report released Aug. 12 projected the total corn harvest would total 13.365 billion bushels. This week, Pro Farmer projects that, based upon samples taken in seven Midwestern states, harvest will total only 13.29 billion bushels.

The USDA Crop Progress report released Aug. 23 indicates that corn maturity is currently ahead of the five-year average. When averaged nationally, 88 percent of corn is in dough stage while the trend is for only 74 percent to be here at this point in the season. Nationally, 54 percent of corn is dented compared to a 37 percent five year average, and 8 percent of the crop is fully mature. On average, only 6 percent is normally mature at this time.

Despite these favorable reports, crop conditions remain somewhat troubling although still significantly better than at this point in 2009. Nationally, 30 percent of the corn crop is rated fair, poor or very poor. In 2009, the average was 41 percent in these categories at this point. Crop ratings trend worse in the South and the East with 72 percent of the North Carolina crop rated fair or less. Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Missouri follow at 57 percent, 52 percent, 51 percent and 50 percent respectively.

Only 20 percent of the crop is currently rated excellent. Last year at this time, 13 percent of the crop was rated excellent. Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan have the highest crop rating excellent at 43 percent, 38 percent and 31 percent respectively.