Jeff Lemmons, a statistical analyst with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), says the 2017 soybean crop looks “pretty good,” based on fields he’s checked this week as a scout on the Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour.
“Based on what I’m seeing and from talking with other scouts, in the big picture overall, the soybean crop is coming in fairly well,” he told Tyne Morgan, Host of the U.S. Farm Report, in the video interview provided here.
What are his expectations for the September USDA crop report? Lemmons says it will depend on farmer input.
“I always want to hear directly from farmers,” he emphasizes.
Even the controversial August USDA crop report, Lemmons says, relied on farmer feedback primarily from the annual ag yield survey, which was done the first of August with approximately 21,000 growers. Roughly 72% of the growers mailed the survey results back to USDA for tallying. Lemmons notes that the agency “strives” to have an 80% response.
Moving forward to the September crop report and beyond, Lemmons adds that the “USDA will be able to rely more on objective yield data from the field for its forecasts.”