What happens the year after a record corn yield year?

February 16, 2006  13(2):15

Joe Lauer, Corn Agronomist

The final USDA state corn yield for 2005 is 148 bu/A, a new record. Corn farmers in Wisconsin have had 25 record corn yields since 1866 (Table 1). What happens the year following a record year? On average, grain yield decreases 6% the year following a record year. In only two cases were records set two years in a row (1948-49 and 1965-66). There have been three cases where a tie occurred (1942-43, 1981-82, and 1986-87). For 19 of 24 records years, corn yield decreased up to 33% the following year. The range in percent change from a record year to the next is 49% (-33 to 16%). On average, it will take another six years before a new corn production record will be set for the state.

Table 1.  USDA corn yield (bu/A) record years in Wisconsin since 1866 and yield the following year.
Record Year   Next Year
Year Yield Percent Change
from previous record
  Year Yield Percent Change
after record year
1867 38 32   1868 36 -4
1870 38 1   1871 37 -3
1900 39 2   1901 26 -33
1921 39 1   1922 37 -6
1925 40 3   1926 32 -20
1940 42 5   1941 41 -2
1942 46 10   1943 46 0
1946 47 1   1947 45 -4
1948 48 3   1949 55 15
1949 55 15   1950 48 -13
1952 64 16   1953 62 -4
1956 68 6   1957 64 -6
1959 71 4   1960 63 -12
1961 73 3   1962 70 -4
1965 76 4   1966 88 16
1966 88 16   1967 83 -6
1968 95 8   1969 88 -7
1971 98 3   1972 95 -3
1977 104 6   1978 98 -6
1981 108 4   1982 108 0
1986 118 9   1987 118 0
1991 119 1   1992 104 -13
1994 141 18   1995 114 -19
1999 143 1   2000 132 -8
2005 148 3   --- --- ---
         Average   -6

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