Pro Farmer 2012 Corn, Soybean Crop Estimates

August 24, 2012 09:00 AM
Pro Farmer 2012 Corn, Soybean Crop Estimates


Pro Farmer pegs 2012 U.S. corn crop at 10.478 billion bu.; avg. yield 120.25 bu. per acre
+/- 1% = 10.374 billion bu. to 10.583 billion bu.; 119.05 bu. to 121.45 bu. per acre

Pro Farmer pegs 2012 U.S. soybean crop at 2.60 billion bu.; avg. yield of 34.8 bu. per acre
+/- 2% = 2.548 billion bu. to 2.652 billion bu.; 34.1 bu. to 35.5 bu. per acre

NOTE: We’ve made some adjustments to the acreage assumptions. Based on FSA certified acreage data we anticipate increases in planted acreage for both corn and soybeans. However, we are anticipating a harvested acreage percentage of 89.5% for corn and a slight downward adjustment in the harvested acreage percentage for soybeans. Learn how Pro Farmer estimates their yield expectations.



Ohio: 124 bu. per acre. The Midwest drought started in northwest Ohio. South and east of there extreme moisture and heat stress will guarantee below-average corn yields.

Indiana: 101 bu. per acre. Eastern Indiana showed extreme drought stress. A lack of ears and grain length pulled yields down.

Illinois: 116 bu. per acre. The eastern half of Illinois was the epicenter of this summer’s drought — and it was proven by this year’s Tour. Corn yields were better in some western and northern areas of the state, but standability is a major issue.

Iowa: 139 bu. per acre. Corn yields in the western one-third of the state were down 11% from last year, but the real problem is in the eastern two thirds of the state. Iowa’s early start to the growing season turned into a mid-season nightmare for corn trying to pollinate and fill kernels.

Minnesota: 152 bu. per acre. Crop District 7 is the problem in Minnesota as is the western half of Crop District 8. Corn yield and plant health improved dramatically in the eastern half of the state where yield potential is very good.

Nebraska: 138 bu. per acre. Kernel size is the villain in Nebraska, and that is what makes the husker state a swing state on corn yields. Even irrigated yields were off about 10% from year-ago, while dryland corn yields will be determined by kernel size.

South Dakota: 85 bu. per acre. We hit South Dakota hard on harvested acres and yield. This was absolutely the worst corn crop we’ve sampled since 1998 when the Crop Tour started in the western Belt.


Ohio: 40 bu. per acre. In addition to low pod counts, heavy weed pressure in some of the state may hold down yields even more than indicated on the Tour.

Indiana: 36 bu. per acre. This is where we started to see the trend of pods not forming on the lower half of plants. The lack of production factory hurts yield potential.

Illinois: 36 bu. per acre. The crop must work to hold onto what yield potential is there, as the crop is done blooming. Extremely dry soils could lead to pod abortion and further reduction in yields.

Iowa: 41 bu. per acre. Iowa’s soybeans are the "least bad" of a disappointing western Corn Belt bean crop. A lack of soil moisture at Tour time nearly guarantees a smaller-than-normal bean size will weigh on average yields.

Minnesota: 36.5 bu. per acre. Crop Tour pod counts were even worse than expected. The growing season for northern Corn Belt beans seems to have put stress on yield potential from planting through Tour time.

Nebraska: 42 bu. per acre. Even in a drought year, Nebraska’s ability to give beans a drink when they need it will keep the state at the top of the nation’s soybean yields.

South Dakota: 28 bu. per acre. Soybeans haven’t earned a spot under pivots in South Dakota yet. As a result, we see serious sub-30 yield potential for beans.

General Observation: The bean crop from Ohio to Nebraska needs a drink right now to realize these yield estimates.


Special AgDay Episode

On Friday, Aug. 31, AgDay will dedicate their entire episode to the 2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. Find out when it airs in your area, or plan to watch it at

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Spell Check

8/26/2012 05:55 PM

  was really disappointed to see the path of the ag-tour. nothing below I-74 which just happens to run thru some of the best ground in the country. why not drop south a little where the real drought hit. we are part of the corn belt too.


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