Farmers’ corn yield estimates come in under USDA’s
Not long ago, USDA revised its aggressive national corn yield estimate of 175.1 bu. per acre, saying on Sept. 12 it’s expecting more like 174.4 bu. per acre. Regardless, it’s safe to say many farmers question that optimism. On Aug. 17, Farm Journal took the opportunity to ask farmers how their yields looked compared with that first aggressive USDA estimate. More than 1,200 farmers responded.
Nearly half of respondents expect lower yields than USDA’s 175.1-bu. estimate, with 16% reporting they expect “about the same” and 26% reporting higher estimated yields.
Meanwhile, the guessing game continues. The 2016 ProFarmer Crop Tour forecasts the corn crop to come in at 170.1 bu. per acre nationally.
Another estimate by Descartes Labs, which derives yield predictions primarily from analyzing satellite imagery, came in at 170.4 bu. per acre in a Sept. 13 report.
Still, guessing the average national corn yield is like guessing the number of pennies in a mason jar: it takes luck—or a sixth sense.
To see a full listing of past Farm Journal Pulse polls and to sign up to participate in the survey, visit www.FarmJournalPulse.com