Corn Yield Update: Lower Forecast but Still a Record

Kevin McNew

Jul 13, 2020

Overall, corn conditions remain well above average for the U.S. and for most of the top-producing states. Iowa continues to be the garden state with exceptionally high ratings.

With much of the U.S. corn crop in the early stages of silking, recent weather in the coming 10-20 days across the U.S. are key.

FBN’s second model-based assessment of the season for U.S. corn yield puts the crop at 178.4 bushels per acre, down from the 179.5 bushels forecasted previously.

Get advanced yield forecasts ahead of the USDA

That’s still in line with USDA’s latest forecast of 178.5 bushels per acre and would represent a new record high on a previous record of 176.6 in 2017. 

Variables included were yield trend, USDA crop condition ratings, temperature and precipitation, and satellite imagery. Weather in the coming two weeks will be key for corn yields. The current forecast is for an easing of the recent heat in the Midwest. But uncertainty around the weather forecast is the largest uncertainty in the yield forecast at this stage. 

Compared to the corn yield forecast from two weeks ago, reductions were made for Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota. Increases were made for Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota. Satellite imagery suggested crops in Ohio and North Dakota are significantly delayed in terms of growth at this point while Iowa and Minnesota are leading in growth development.

FBN's take on what it means for the farmer

While the corn yield has been downgraded from the previous expectation, we are still seeing a record yield potential with ample corn supplies and a crop near 15 billion bushels. This is expected to keep pressure on the corn futures market. Producers are advised to make moves when recommended to potentially minimize price risk to the downside.

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Kevin McNew

Jul 13, 2020