After examining more than 2,800 corn and soybean samples, Pro Farmer analysts are estimating national corn yield will reach 177.3 bu. per acre and soybean yield at 53.0 bu. per acre. They put corn just below USDA’s Aug. 1 estimate of 178.4 bu. per acre and soybeans 1.4 bu. above USDA’s 51.6 bu. per acre estimate.
Pro Farmer gives a range for their estimates, plus or minus 1% on corn and plus or minus 2% on soybeans. That puts corn at 175.5 to 179.1 bu. per acre range and soybeans at 51.9 to 54.1 bu. per acre range.
“The 178.4 that USDA delivered as of Aug. 1 is inside of the range that Pro Farmer estimated,” says AgriTalk Host Chip Flory. “[USDA has] soybeans at 51.6, which is three-tenths of a bushel below the low end of the range Pro Farmer estimated.”
If Pro Farmer’s estimates of 177.3 bu. per acre and 53 bu. per acre prove correct, it puts total U.S. corn production at 14.501 billion bu. and soybean production at 4.683 billion bu. That’s a about 500 million bu. fewer of corn, and 90 million more bu. of soybeans than USDA predicted on Aug. 1. Note, Pro Farmer assumes a 500,000-acre reduction in soybeans versus the June acreage report.
Throughout this past week, Pro Farmer scout visited Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota. Most states showed mature crops with little room for yield growth or loss, parts of Iowa and much of Minnesota did show less maturity—likely due to delayed planting. When establishing its estimates, Pro Farmer assumes normal weather through the remainder of the growing season.
“The big difference between this year and last year is that there’s no new growth out there,” Flory says. “There’s no blooms, or very few blooms. We’re not going to continuously add to this bean crop this year like we did last year. I think that story is even more true on corn.”
Each state came with its own unique surprises. Here’s a breakdown of yield potential scouts discovered:
“Throughout the first three days of Crop Tour, we saw average to above average kernel depth. If we finish the crop strong, [fields with limited stress] will hold together and have a positive opportunity for good test weights,” says Emily Carolan, Pioneer territory sales representative in Wisconsin and data analyst for the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. However, when she got into Minnesota corn kernel depth was lacking.
“One comment I would make about the whole tour is we normally find storm damages throughout our routes [but] this year was different,” Carolan says. “The storms were widespread and frequently causing (sic.) a lot of green snap and hail damage. We always see damage in in Nebraska, but to see the damages in Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota, it will take a toll on yield in those states.”
While it might not have a huge effect on yield, she says they had to take weather damages into account when calculating final yield. Find more in-depth discussion about what leaders saw throughout the tour here at ProFarmer.com.