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Main Street Data now forecasts national corn yield at 178.1.

published: September 8th 2020
source: Main Streeet Data

Using sophisticated weather-based modeling techniques that correlate to crop stage, Main Street Data forecasts a 2020 national yield of 178.1 Bu/A for corn. Despite setbacks from storms and a lack of rain, this yield forecast of 178.1 still surpasses the last national yield record, set in 2017 at 176.6 Bu/A.


Iowa corn yield reduced further, thanks to lasting derecho damage and a lack of rain.

With Iowa and neighboring states still reeling from the August 10 derecho, a lack of rain is now worsening yield forecasts for corn. Using 40 years of sophisticated, weather-based data – as well as modeling comparison data from a similarly destructive derecho – Main Street forecasts Iowa corn loss at 185 million bushels. This puts Iowa’s final yield forecast at 195.7 Bu/A – compared to the Iowa record of 203 Bu/A.


While traditional models such as satellite imagery and crop progress comparisons forecast many more bushels lost, Main Street Data’s sophisticated techniques consider satellite imagery as well as the crop stage of the lost bushels to calculate its 185 million bushel estimate. Main Street Data specifically ties this estimate of lost bushels to the timing of this recent derecho in mid-August, since storm damage must be precisely calibrated to the crop stage at the time of impact. Main Street Data will continue to monitor Iowa bushel loss and yield, with a hopeful eye toward the rain forecast for early next week.


With no derecho damage and good soil moisture, Indiana forecasts for both corn and beans may hit records.

Conversely, showing how yield can vary widely between states, Indiana forecasts would be record-breaking for both corn and beans. Along with drier conditions, Iowa took most of the storm damage, which is reflected in the lower yields for the Hawkeye state. These disparities show how Main Street Data’s advanced techniques result in precise yields forecast specifically to local levels.


Low soil moisture complicates the corn yield picture.

While much of the lower national yield forecast can be attributed to storm damage, low soil moisture is worsening the outlook for corn overall. These two factors – derecho and dryness – will continue to impact yields. And while post-Labor Day rain is expected to recharge the root zone in many areas, the lack of sufficient soil moisture will prevail now and into 2021.


Main Street Data will continue to monitor yields and soil moisture.

With methods that correlate storm damage and soil conditions to yield, Main Street Data can forecast crop yields with precision. We’ll continue to update our yield forecasts as conditions change, for both the national crop and individual states in the Corn Belt.


Formed in 2017 and based in Kansas City, Main Street Data brings precise data science practices to the agriculture world by applying sophisticated analytical instruments to massive amounts of field data. Main Street Data’s Progressive WeatherYield tool forecasts crop yields using a proprietary weather-based model.

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