Extrapolating Yields from USDA’s Crop Conditions

It’s about this time of year that USDA’s Crop Condition reports can be used, in part, to develop corn and soybean yields.

The agricultural economists at the University of Illinois have been tweaking yields out of the USDA crop conditions reports for quite some time. They say the later in the season it gets the more accurate they become. Right about now is usually when the good to excellent ratings, along with all the rest, begin to zero in on what’s really happening across America says Darrel Good…

The Agricultural economist from the University of Illinois have been tweaking yields out of the USDA Crop Condition Reports for quite some time.  They say the later in the season it gets the more accurate they become, right  about now, is usually when the Good to Excellent ratings along with all the others begin to zero in on what’s really happening across America, says Darrel Good:

“We know that the initial ratings for both crops are generally a little on the high side.  That is crops generally always look good early in the season, before weather has a chance to take a toll on the crop.  And then on average ratings decline as you go to the final report of the year.”

But, typically, says Good, by mid-July the ratings for corn are pretty close, this is on average, but points later in the season for soybeans, usually sometime in early August.  Here are the yields the U of I has generated from this week’s Weekly Crop Progress and Condition Reports:

“If we relied entirely on the crop conditions model, today’s ratings would point to a US average yield of 167.2 bu/a, and soybeans at 47.7 bu/a.”

One other note here on making calculations; a one percent move in the good/excellent category is worth about 7/10ths of a bushel says Darrel Good.   This week corn is 15 points lower in those categories than last year when the national yield was 174.6 bu/a. If you add in the trend-line bump for corn  and do the math, it’s in that 166/167 bu/a range.


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