Final FBN Soybean Yield Forecast Up to 48.0 BPA

Walter Kunisch Jr.

Oct 08, 2019

On October 2, FBN released its sixth and final quantitative-driven soy yield assessment of the 2019 growing season. The model output provides yield estimates made at the county, region, state and national levels. FBN’s soybean yield model uses crop condition metrics, weather/hydrological inputs, satellite imagery and crop development as input values. 

Using these inputs, FBN is predicting a +.5 BPA increase in national yield objective from 47.5 BPA to 48.0 BPA.

FBN’s corn and soybean yield updates will both be available to FBN members on a consistent basis throughout the 2019/20 growing season. 

Weather influences soybean yield objectives

Ideal weather during September continues to support late-cycle national soybean yield objectives. Compared with our previous model run conducted on September 11, FBN’s latest soybean yield model run shows that the estimated late-season yield objectives for most states in both the western Corn Belt (WCB) and eastern Corn Belt (ECB) have improved. The trend of yield stabilization and yield enhancement has been assisted by ideal weather conditions, which since mid-August has been favorable to vegetation health development, which given the late start to the ’19/20 crop year has been critical for biomass development. At FBN, we believe that the lack of extreme temperature weather values throughout August and September combined with a lack of frost developments have helped mitigate the yield-related penalties and are supportive of constructive late-period yield objectives. 

Reading the vegetation health index

This week, the FBN soybean yield model emphasizes the vegetation health index as observed from satellite imagery. The state of the vegetation health index is suggesting that the late-maturing soybean crop has reached maximum potential, is close to maturity and no longer accumulating biomass. While the yield potential in almost all key-producing states in the WCB and ECB continue to exhibit below-trend tendencies for the 2019/20 marketing year, the 0.5 BPA yield increase from our previous model run is a positive development. FBN’s model output showed that Indiana and Ohio experienced a negative yield adjustment from the last model run as dryness has negatively impacted yields potential. 

Despite the late-cycle yield enhancement, we believe that further stabilization can be attributed to the lack of frost risks. Using FBN’s latest frost risk model, we believe the probability of a frost event interrupting the physiological development of the immature corn plant throughout much of the key growing regions is low. 


The increase in national soybean yield objective to a 48.0 BPA is a positive development for a crop that was all but written off earlier this year. With the USDA estimating a 47.9 BPA, the October WASDE has the ability to present an interesting scenario. While the crop remains below trend both nationally and at the state level, ideal weather combined with a lack of frost keeps the upward yield objective in tact. As the crop is reaching maturity and is not adding any biomass, this yield assessment should represent the final model run of the crop year.

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Walter Kunisch Jr.

Oct 08, 2019