[UPDATE] - Business weather intelligence company Planalytics has also been forecasting yield throughout this crop season. Its latest corn yield estimate, from Aug. 26, was 166.8.
Planalytics teams with TerraMetrics Agriculture, Inc., and the University of Kansas to produce bi-weekly crop yield estimates starting in early June. The projections are fueled by satellite imagery and a statistical model based on 26 years of USDA's end-of-year yield reports. Current yield "hot spots" include the Texas Panhandle, northwest Iowa, northeast Nebraska and southern Minnesota.
Planalytics estimates yield averages in more than 1,400 counties in 41 states. Yield ranged from 47 bu. per acre in Lincoln County, Colo., to 235.3 bu. per acre in Ochiltree County, Texas.
The next forecast is scheduled for Sept. 9.
When savvy patients get a diagnosis from their doctor, they often seek out a second opinion. This year’s corn crop goes one step further – getting three separate, broad diagnoses.
USDA came first, predicting in early August a 168.8 bu. per acre corn crop. This tally appears to be too high, according to some marketing experts, who had spent the summer reading about excessive rainfall, particularly in the eastern Corn Belt.
“I liken this back to what happened in 1993 as well as 2010,” says Jerry Gulke, president of the Gulke Group in Chicago, in a special report with Farm Journal Radio. “We got totally hammered on one of those reports, and then the next report showed reduction in yields because as we harvested acres in September, October, November, December, and finally January, we found that yields weren’t quite as good. I have to be on the side of the camp now that says we’ve probably seen the highest production numbers.”
Next came the Pro Farmer Crop Tour in mid-August, descending upon seven Midwest states and taking more than 1,400 corn samples. Scouts saw a very different scenario, depending on whether they were on the eastern or western leg of the tour. The west impressed, while the east lagged in places.
Ultimately, Pro Farmer editor Brian Grete has his doubts that impressive western yields won’t offset losses caused by excessive rain elsewhere in the Corn Belt.
“It may be well short of doing it when all’s said and done because we’re not going to know the final answer here until combines start to roll this fall,” he says. “Then, it may take a long time to sort out even after that.”
Pro Farmer’s corn yield estimate came in at 164.3 bu. per acre.
Next up, Allendale, Inc., concluded the company’s 26th annual Nationwide Producer Survey, soliciting farmers in 28 states. This year’s estimate – 167.1 bu. per acre.
“This would certainly be a large crop at 13.5 billion bushels,” says Allendale chief strategist Rich Nelson, who shares additional corn and soybean yield insights in the following video.
What do you think the final corn crop will yield? Add your analysis to this discussion thread or in the comments below.