Find out which areas will have higher relative soybean yields.
By Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois
On Sept. 12, the USDA released revised projections of 2013 state soybeans yields. Also released were 2013 projected crop reporting district (CRD) yields for Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. These projected yields are compared to 2013 trend yields to assess which areas of the country are having better relative yields than other areas.
Figure 1 shows projected state yields divided by trend yields, hereafter referred to as relative yields. Illinois' relative yield is .96. This means that the USDA's projected yield for 2013 of 46 bushels per acre is .96 of the 48 bushel trend yield (i.e. .96 = 46 yield in 2013 / 48 trend yield). The 2013 trend yields were calculated by fitting a trend line through state level yield data from 1975 through 2012, and then projecting 2013 yields. Relative yields above 1.0 indicate that yields are above trend. Relative yields below 1.0 indicate that the projected yield is below trend. Overall, higher values indicate better yields relative to expectations.
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The highest relative yields occur in the southern United States. Alabama has a relative yield of 1.23, Louisiana has a 1.20 relative yield and Georgia has a 1.18 relative yield. From these highs, relative yields decrease towards the western corn-belt and upper Midwest. A block for states from North Dakota down to Nebraska, over to Iowa, up to Wisconsin and back to North Dakota have projected relative yields below .95. States with the lowest relative yields are Iowa at .84 and North Dakota at .85.
A more refined view of relative yields can be gained for the five states for which CRD yields were released by USDA (see Figure 2). The lowest relative yields occur in northwest Iowa, central Iowa, and northern Missouri. These areas had relative yields below .85. Areas with 1.05 yields or higher include eastern and central Kansas, southern Missouri, and northeast Illinois. Indiana, parts of central Illinois, northwest Illinois, southern Missouri, and eastern and central Kansas have relative yields close to 1.0.
Within the Corn Belt, the eastern Corn Belt is having higher yields relative to trend than the western Corn Belt. The worst relative yields are in Iowa and Missouri.