A recent online DTN 360 poll supports what many expect USDA to say on Friday: the national average soybean yield is likely to be somewhere in the low forties. A Dow Jones survey of 20 traders pegged the national average yield at 42.5 bpa.
That's no surprise, given reports from the fields. In DTN's survey, 29% of the 419 responders to the DTN poll said they expected their whole-farm average yield to fall in the 36 bpa to 45 bpa range while another 29% said they expect it in the 46 bpa to 55 bpa range. Here's a breakdown of the national results, and the data from states that had more than 30 responses.
|Fewer than 15 bpa||5%||8%||0%||2%||4%||3%|
|More than 65 bpa||5%||17%||18%||1%||6%||0%|
It's interesting to dig into the state-by-state data. A recent report by Informa Economics indicated that it saw the strongest improvements in yield prospects in the Western Corn Belt. In DTN's poll, Nebraska's yields were strongly skewed to the high side of the range. Of 39 responses, 17% said yields averaged above 65 bpa, 20% said yields averaged 56-65 bpa and 30% said yields averaged 46-55 bpa. Over the last 12 years, Nebraska's soybean yields averaged 50.5 bpa (with a high of 54.5 bpa in 2009 and a low of 40.5 in 2003). If DTN's data holds true to what USDA's says on Friday, its likely USDA will bump Nebraska's average up from its September estimate of 47 bpa.
When it comes to the "I" states, Illinois appears to be the leader, while Iowans report a more average crop. In Illinois, all but 3% of respondents expected yields to average 36 bpa or above, with the largest percentage indicating yields in the 56 to 65 bpa range. The largest portion of Indiana producers (43%) expect yields in the 46 to 55 bpa range. The bulk of Iowa growers expect yields to average 36 to 45 bpa. That fit's with what I've heard from growers -- it's just an okay crop there.
Up in Minnesota, the delayed planting of soybeans took its toll on soybeans. When I traveled through western and central Minnesota on the crop tour, I saw a lot of plants that were lightly podded and still blooming. That took its toll. Minnesota growers had one of the highest responses in the 26 to 35 bpa range at 25%, but the majority of responses from that state indicate yields averaging 46 to 55 bpa.