Analysts Watch For USDA, Crop Tour Yield Estimate Discrepancies

August 20, 2018 12:11 PM

As Pro Farmer’s Midwest Crop Tour gets underway today, analysts and farmers alike are watching and waiting to see what they can learn. Tyne Morgan of U.S. Farm Report sat down with three analysts who say they are hoping to see how the Crop Tour data compares with USDA’s projections. 

“I really want to see what's outside the central band of the Corn Belt,” says Bill Biedermann of Allendale Inc. “I want to see what's happening up north and down south, see what they say about test weights and what they see in the field.”

Joe Vacalvik of Standard Grain is waiting anxiously to see if there’s any major discrepancy between what the crop tour discovers and what USDA has been saying about the crops. 

“I don't necessarily agree with all the USDA projections this point. But as I said, I don't try to fight them too hard either,” he says. “So I'd like to see what the crop tour finds in relation to the USDA.”

Chris Narayanan of C. R. Narayanan & Co., an analyst who has been a scout on the crop tour 10 times, is also curious how the crop tour numbers will compare to the USDA estimates. 

“I want to see some kind of confirmation with USDA was saying,” he says. “I've heard in some of the fringe areas, [there are] cases a tip back, kernel abortion, and all that. So, let's see what the crop actually looks like when they're in the field.”

Biedermann has also heard reports of tip back in the fringe areas. Some of it is related to high populations, but he says in many cases it’s more than that. 

According to Vaclavik, the maturity of this crop should make crop tour data more accurate. 

“This is one of the second or third quickest in the last 20 years I think,” he says.  “So yeah, you should have a better read on it relative to other years.”

Pro Farmer Crop Tour is widely regarded as one of the most accurate yield predictions throughout the year.

Watch for continued coverage of the tour on 

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Spell Check

Alan Bieber
Big Springs, NE
8/21/2018 02:04 PM

  Just read an article about hail damage in NE. They stated that they drove several miles before finding a field "good enough" to sample. Am I wrong to assume that only "good" fields are sampled.

philip l. schwenk
murdock, MN
8/21/2018 02:38 PM

  well Alan, it does call into question the whole "dog and pony show" does it not ?