U.S. corn yield estimate questioned

Jul 14, 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest U.S. corn yield estimate does not reflect reality, says an analyst.

The USDA dropped its national average corn yield for 2023-24 to 177.5 bushels per acre, down from its forecast of 181.5 bu. a month ago.

DTN lead analyst Todd Hultman thinks that is still too high and expects it will end up closer to 175 bu. per acre based on current conditions in the Midwest.

“I understand that maybe they don’t want to get out ahead of themselves before they go out and get a better look at the crop,” he said during a DTN webinar about the USDA’s latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.

But he noted that the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map is eerily similar to the one from 2012, which was a dismal year for U.S. crop yields.

“Both of these maps had 63 percent D1 to D4 (drought) ratings in the Midwest region,” said Hultman.

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