Power Hour: The Method behind Pro Farmer’s Crop Estimates

August 23, 2012 09:30 AM
Power Hour: The Method behind Pro Farmer’s Crop Estimates

Chip Flory explains how Pro Farmer will determine their expectations for this year’s corn and soybean crops.

Yield estimates for corn and soybean have been coming in each day this week, at scouts on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour travel through seven states.

So far, yield expectations are below average and similar to USDA’s August estimates. Here’s a summary of the corn data to date:

USDA Esimate Pro Farmer Crop Tour Estimate
Illinois 116 121.60
Indiana 100 113.25
Iowa 141 (released tonight)
Ohio 126 110.50
Minnesota 155 (released tonight)
Nebraska 147 131.79
South Dakota 98 74.26


For soybeans, scouts count pods in 3' by 3', which doesn't generate a bushel-per-acre estimate.

On Friday, the editors of Pro Farmer will issue national corn and soybean yield estimates and total crop estimate. Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory says that while Pro Farmer's esimate obviously uses that data collected during the tour, it is not a mirror estimate.

He explains:

For instance, he says, on the tour, Nebraska yields always come in lower. "We always measure Nebraska low because when we go through Nebraska, the percentage of irrigated versus non-irrigated is opposite of the state’s entire percentage."

Flory says the Pro Farmer estimate also includes forecasts for the entire country, not the seven states sampled on the tour.

So how will the final Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour data and Pro Farmer’s official yield estimates affect prices? Flory says finding fewer bushels wouldn’t be that big of a surprise to market. "But I think the real market input would be if we find a bigger crop."

To follow coverage of the event, visit www.agweb.com and www.ProFarmer.com. Official estimates will be posted Friday.

For More Information
Learn more about the 2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. Follow along on Twitter with the hash tag #pftour12.
Take your own field measurements and participate in Pro Farmer’s Virtual Crop Tour



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