This week USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) announced it will no longer release its August Objective Yield Survey. It will continue to conduct the farmer-based survey and it will release Objective Yield Survey results in September, October and November.
“The objective field where they go out and they, they lay out plots and fields, and then they return to those fields in September, October, November. That will be eliminated for August,” said Pro Farmer’s Brian Grete in an interview on AgriTalk. “They’re still going to do the surveys in September, October, November at the field level, but there will be a lesser number than what there were in the past.”
In the 10 objective yield states for corn there will be 1,015 samples and in the 11 states for soybeans there will be 1,050 in those three months.
To clarify, there will still be a survey in August. It’s going to be a survey of farmers. In addition, they’re reducing the number of Objective Yield Surveys in the months it will be used.
“It appears they’re putting more emphasis on the farmer survey than the Objective Yield Survey,” Grete added. “This is something that I've argued with them. They conduct their survey for the August reports in late July, the last week of July into the first week of August, and it's just too early for them to get real data out in the field. So, this is pushing it back and I think it's good to be honest with you.”
This decision by NASS is based on a review the agency does every five years. They use input from outside the agency to help inform these types of decisions.
From a marketing perspective this might not have a big impact.
“Probably not a whole lot to be honest with you,” Grete says. “For Pro Farmer it probably does matter because now we're going to be the first survey-based numbers coming out of the field on crop tour on the third week of August.”
The Pro Farmer Crop Tour pulls 1,400 corn and soybean samples and reports state and national yield estimates to farmers and other stakeholders. The company has performed the on-the-ground survey for the past 20 years.