Will Northeast Missouri produce a record-setting corn crop?

In a recent report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects a record-setting corn crop this year, topping the previous high by 11 percent.

But local agronomists say that may not hold true for Northeast Missouri since the area is more drought prone.

The experts said, so far, the corn crop is doing well because the pleasant weather has allowed farmers to get their corn planted and established. They said they'll have a better idea later in the summer if there will be a record-setting yield this fall.

"You know acreage wise, I'd say we're right on normal with the amount of corn," said Kelly Nelson, a research agronomist for the University of Missouri.

"Usually we're in corn/soybean rotation and I don't see a tremendous shift but I was in southern Indiana last week and there was a tremendous amount of corn. Corn crop looks great in Illinois and Indiana so we're probably seeing a tremendous shift in a lot of other states."

Kelly Nelson said the mild winter has helped farmers get their corn crop planted in a timely fashion but it is not necessarily the reason why the corn crop is expected to set records.

"The biggest thing the mild winter has had an effect on is the potential for insect pests," said Kelly Nelson. "There has been a lot of concern on the insect pressure. It'll be important to keep scouting for early insects."

In 2012, the USDA expects farmers to turn in 14.8 billion bushels of corn. That's up almost 2.5 billion from the current year and 11 percent more than the previous record of 13 billion bushels in 2009.

Nationwide, farmers are expected to harvest 5 million more acres and get a record 166 bushels per acre, two bushels above the average of the last decade.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.