DTN Digital Yield Tour 2018-Final Tally

Day 4: National Totals

Greg D Horstmeier
By  Greg D. Horstmeier , DTN Editor-in-Chief
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Comparison of the latest Gro yield model predictions for corn and soybeans, compared to USDA NASS figures. Yield numbers for 2017 are based on NASS final yields released in January versus Gro numbers at harvest. The 2018 figures are today's Gro model predictions compared to the Aug. 10 USDA crop report. (Graphics courtesy of Gro Intelligence)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Despite expected yield shortfalls in some Midwest states, record or near-record U.S. corn and soybean crops are forecast for 2018. As the DTN Digital Yield Tour 2018 powered by Gro Intelligence comes to a close, models still predict a national corn yield of 174.99 bushels per acre (bpa) and a national soybean yield of 50.67 bpa. This is from updated plant health and yield prediction maps, and is still slightly lower than USDA estimates.

Both corn and soybean national yields remain below the 178.4 and 51.6 bpa estimates, respectively, reported by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service during its Aug. 10 crop report. The next USDA report is Sept. 12.

The Gro numbers also are down slightly from what the company's models were predicting in early August. On Aug. 9, the Gro website predicted 177.5 bpa for corn and 50.9 bpa for soybeans. Gro officials note the model will continue to adjust for crop growing conditions with each new layer of satellite and other data.

State totals dropped for most major corn and soybean states with the latest run of the Gro yield models. For example, in the DTN Digital Yield Tour articles last week, Gro models estimated soybean yields of 56.53 bpa in Iowa and 59.7 bpa in Illinois. The latest model run estimates those states to have average yields of 55.9 and 59.4 bpa, respectively.

Indiana yields came up slightly, from 57.21 bpa for the week of Aug. 13 to a current 57.56 bpa.

Please note, Gro's soybean model is in its first year, so there's no comparison to 2017 estimates. Gro's yield estimates on a county and state level update on a daily basis, so the numbers at publication time may be different than what you find on the Gro website.

Gro yield estimates as of Aug. 17 indicated Iowa corn farmers will harvest 194.42 bpa, Illinois growers 203.53 bpa and Indiana producers 188.95 bpa. Current model runs put those state averages at 188.04, 201.46 and 187.85, respectively.


To view the latest Gro estimates for corn and soybean national yields, see the following web pages.

For soybean state maps and a comparison of current state yields, go here: https://app.gro-intelligence.com/…

For soybean state maps and a comparison of current state yields, go here: https://app.gro-intelligence.com/…

For national yield summaries displayed as bar charts, including a comparison to USDA estimates, go here: https://app.gro-intelligence.com/…


It won't be a surprise for the models to increase yield predictions in the coming weeks, however. Rains during the past seven to 10 days, especially over the weekend of Aug. 18-19, hit a broad swath of corn and soybean country, according to DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Bryce Anderson.

"While hotter temperatures are predicted following these current rains, there isn't any big-time heat coming," Anderson said. "Those areas that will get the highest heat, like southern Illinois and parts of Indiana, had enough rainfall that the soil moisture will be plentiful through the heat period," he said.

"So crops will have plenty moisture to get through the heat, and fields will also benefit from the evaporative cooling coming from down in the canopy. That will take the edge off anything that could be detrimental to kernel or pod filling."

Not all of the dry areas in Missouri and Kansas received heavy enough rains to revive pastures or save cornfields that were already shutting down. Soybeans in the areas, however, could benefit from rains that ran from tenths of an inch to 1.5 inches in dry northern parts of the state from Aug. 13-20. "Parts of the Missouri Bootheel also had rains that should help fill the soybean crop. That system moved on through southern Illinois, Indiana and into the Ohio Valley. This time of year, those rains will add yield," said Anderson.


The DTN/The Progressive Farmer 2018 Digital Yield Tour, powered by Gro Intelligence, took place Aug. 15-20 and provided an in-depth look at how the year's corn and soybean crops are progressing. Each day's results featured crop condition and yield information from various states, which included links to the Gro yield prediction maps for those states. Yield summaries are viewable at the county level.

Tour dates, and states, were: Aug. 15 -- Kansas/Missouri and Nebraska/South Dakota; Aug. 16 -- Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio; Aug. 17 -- Iowa, Illinois, Indiana; Aug. 20 -- U.S. totals and review. Readers should note that the Gro yield visuals are continually updated, while the DTN feature articles are based on the company's yield estimate at the time the article was written. Numbers quoted in the articles may be different than those on the Gro website, depending on when viewed.

To see all the tour articles and related DTN stories about the 2018 crop, visit our tour site at https://www.dtn.com/…

About Gro Intelligence: The New York-based company is focused on creating data analytics for the agriculture industry. Gro builds proprietary crop models that use satellite imagery, soil conditions, weather and other crop and environmental data to produce crop health and yield prediction numbers and visuals.

To learn more about Gro, go here: https://www.gro-intelligence.com/…

To read the research white paper on Gro's modeling system, go here and select to "Download the corn yield model paper": https://gro-intelligence.com/…

Greg D. Horstmeier can be reached at greg.horstmeier@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @greghorstmeier


Greg Horstmeier