How Does USDA Calculate Yield Forecasts?

August 29, 2016 02:00 PM
soybeans crop tour 2016

If you’ve ever wondered how USDA comes up with its yield estimates, you’re not alone. Crop scouts on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour last week peppered the handful of USDA staffers on the tour with questions about the process.

According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) staff, the yield estimates are based on two sources: farmer yield surveys and field data  from the agency’s objective yield surveys.

“What you see is what you count, and that’s what you measure. We also ask farmers, ‘What do you think your yield is going to be?’” said Mark Schleusener, a statistician with NASS-Illinois. “With those two different projects together, we can generate a yield forecast for all of the states. Then we use those ear counts we got from field measurements, and we can derive an ear weight for those 10 states that are in the objective yield survey. ”

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Spell Check

stephen J Prissel
Ripon, WI
9/2/2016 10:32 AM

  Ad, your comment is out of order. Contact your state department of Agriculture and you can find out who does COY in your area. COY is Corn objective yield. It is done in every state by people like myself. I am assigned certain landowners chosen from the June Area Survey that NASS does to be asked if they will allow us to set up the plots. We set the plots usually two per field for corn and visit these for at least three months thru harvest and make our measurements and send them in. You have not been chosen as many have not been for whatever the reason. Just maybe you can get your name on the list.

Cayuga , NY
8/29/2016 06:28 PM

  They do drivebys at the best. Never once got a phone call from them in 30 years & our county is a big crop producer in NY.


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