DTN 2019 Digital Yield Tour -- National

National Average Corn Yield at 163.2 BPA, Soybeans at 44.2 BPA

Katie Micik Dehlinger
By  Katie Dehlinger , Farm Business Editor
Green shading shows higher (dark green) and lower (light green) county yield estimates on Gro Intelligence's real-time yield maps in the 10 states included in this year's digital yield tour. (Photo courtesy of Gro Intelligence)

MOUNT JULIET, Tenn. (DTN) -- Gro Intelligence forecasted a national average corn yield of 163.2 bushels per acre (bpa) as of August 16, 6.3 bpa lower than USDA's forecast earlier that month.

On soybeans, the agricultural data firm estimates a national yield average of 44.2 bpa, 4.3 bpa lower than USDA.

Over the course August 12-16, DTN paired Gro's real-time yield maps, which are generated with satellite imagery, rainfall data, temperature maps and other public data, with on-the-ground commentary from farmers to conduct the DTN/Progressive Farmer 2019 Digital Yield Tour.

The national yield estimate includes all production in the U.S., not just the 10 states included in this week's tour.

"It's been a difficult growing season from the beginning," Gro Intelligence Senior Vice President of Agribusiness James Heneghan said. "Accounting for yield potential this season is going to be a challenge for anyone, whether they're using a survey or a satellite-based yield model. These are not great yields by the last couple of years' standards, but they're not disaster yields like 2012."

The Gro yield model updates on a daily basis to include the latest satellite and weather data. Heneghan said the corn yield model started out in the mid-170s, then dropped into the 150s before bouncing back above 160 bpa in recent weeks. For comparison, in 2012, U.S. corn yield estimates started off the season in the mid-160s and then the USDA final yield ended at a 123 bpa national average.

"In a year when there are no easy comparisons to previous planting periods and crop conditions, the DTN/Progressive Farmer 2019 Digital Yield Tour, powered by Gro Intelligence, provided a serious and much-needed crop survey for the market to assess in August," DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman said. "Friday's national corn yield estimate of 163.2 bpa suggests USDA may find less crops in September when it ventures into actual fields. If nothing else, the states needing clarification have clearly been identified as Missouri, South Dakota and Illinois-through-Ohio."

On soybeans, Hultman said Gro's 44.2 bpa estimate suggests total production will be closer to 3.4 billion bushels.

"If true, this year's soybean crop will be down roughly 1.1 bb from 2018 and offers significant relief to burdensome ending soybean stocks at a time when trade with China is not going well," he said.

The DTN/Progressive Farmer 2019 Digital Yield Tour took an in-depth look at 10 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

With the exception of Minnesota and Wisconsin, Gro Intelligence's corn yields were all lower than USDA's August estimates. The decline was especially stark in the Eastern Corn Belt, with Gro Intelligence's models forecasting a 27% decline in Illinois yields compared to last year.

"Last year, Illinois really drove the upside in the national totals," Heneghan said. "This year Iowa should be supporting the national estimate."

All of Gro Intelligence's soybean estimates for the 10 states included in the tour were lower than USDA's August forecast.

Here's a summary of the tour's state findings, using Gro Intelligence's yield estimates from our published stories. Because Gro Intelligence's yield models update every day, the numbers on their website may differ from what you see below.

You can find detailed articles on each state at: https://spotlights.dtnpf.com/…

CORN YIELDS
USDA USDA
STATE GRO INTEL AUGUST 2018
ILLINOIS 153 181 210
INDIANA 138 166 189
IOWA 187 191 196
KANSAS 144 135 129
MINNESOTA 175 173 182
MISSOURI 138 160 140
NEBRASKA 182 186 192
OHIO 136 160 187
SOUTH DAKOTA 149 157 160
WISCONSIN 167 165 172
SOYBEAN YIELDS
USDA USDA
STATE GRO INTEL AUGUST 2018
ILLINOIS 46 55 65
INDIANA 46 50 58.5
IOWA 53 55 57
KANSAS 36 42 43.5
MINNESOTA 44 46 50.5
MISSOURI 39 45 45
NEBRASKA 56 58 59
OHIO 42 48 58
SOUTH DAKOTA 37 45 46
WISCONSIN 46 47 49

ABOUT THE TOUR

The DTN/Progressive Farmer 2019 Digital Yield Tour, powered by Gro Intelligence, provided an in-depth look at how the year's corn and soybean crops were progressing during the week of Aug. 12, 2019. It featured crop condition and yield information from various states and included links to the Gro Intelligence yield prediction maps for those states, which included county level yield summaries.

The "tour" started in the west, with the first day's articles focusing on Kansas and Missouri and Nebraska and South Dakota. On Aug. 14, the tour explored yield estimates from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. On Aug. 15, the tour moved into the Eastern Corn Belt -- Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

New York-based Gro Intelligence is focused on creating data analytics for the agriculture industry. Gro Intelligence 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 Intelligence, go here: https://www.gro-intelligence.com/…

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

Katie Dehlinger can be reached at Katie.dehlinger@dtn.com

Follow her on Twitter @KatieD_DTN

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Katie Dehlinger