Ag Weather Forum

Variable Corn Yield Prospects

Bryce Anderson
By  Bryce Anderson , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
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The northwestern Corn Belt is the only sector where non-irrigated corn yield is indicated to have a definite high chance of being above average. (UN-L graphic by Nick Scalise)

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Hybrid-Maize yield model analysis at the end of July shows variability and some uncertainty in yield prospects across the Corn Belt. The model uses data gathered from check sites in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

For irrigated fields, indications are that yield should be at or above average. For Nebraska, chances for below-average yield are less than 20%, and chances for below-average yield at sites in Kansas are about 25%.

The situation gets trickier, though, when it comes to non-irrigated or rainfed acreage. In these areas, a summary of the findings says, in part:

"For rainfed corn, the range of forecasted yields is still wide and looks highly variable across locations. There is a relatively high probability (greater than 75 percent) of above-average yield at five of the 37 rainfed locations: western Nebraska, eastern North Dakota, northern Minnesota (Eldred), northwestern Missouri, and central Illinois (Peoria). But there is a high chance (greater than 75 percent) of below-average yield in southeastern Nebraska and southeastern Iowa.

As of Wednesday, July 27, there was also some question about rainfed corn yield potential at sites in southwestern, south central and northeastern Nebraska, as well as in central Iowa. Seven locations in the southern sector of the Corn Belt were noted with a high probably of near-average yield, but a "highly uncertain" scenario for the other 19 rainfed sites.

In summary, the report emphasizes that end-of-season yields are still highly uncertain for half of the rainfed sites, with variable prospects ranging from above to below average across the other half. Such issues as stand emergence, hail or flood damage, replanting, disease, or nitrate leaching are not factored into the Hybrid-Maize model.

Key weather factors during July were specified as being high temperatures (especially nighttime temperatures) during the second half of the month, along with highly variable rainfall. Rain was above-normal in Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota, but was below-normal in Nebraska.

The full report is at this link:…


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