Despite wide variation for individual farmers, growers reported improving yields last week for corn and soybeans, suggesting USDA may not be too far off in its assessment of production.
The government raised its estimate of corn yields to 171.8 bushels per acre in October, while soybeans eased to 49.5 bpa. While the agency’s next updates don’t come out until Nov. 9, farmers reporting Feedback From The Field last week upped their averages for both corn and soybeans. Corn yields came in at 171.3 bpa, with soybeans at 50.6 bpa. Reports submitted so far during October have corn averaging 168.2 bpa, with soybeans at 49.3 bpa.
A host of weather extremes from cold to hot and floods to drought make estimating yields this year all the more difficult. Even some growers who rated fields “excellent” noted wide spreads from field to field.
“Some variable yields on beans, 48 to 60 bushel ranges,” said a grower in northeast Illinois. “Corn is above average in most all of our area 230 to 270 bushel yields in many fields.”
Many warnings this year have come from the eastern Midwest. “Beans had wet feet!” reported a grower in northeast Ohio. Still, soybeans made 53 bpa while corn was at 190.
Farmers to the west dealt with drought in some areas. The Dakotas were hard hit early, said a producer in central North Dakota, and rains didn’t help.
“Bad drought conditions in the spring and summer,” led to corn yielding only 90 bpa with soybeans at 15 bpa. “Late rains caused quality damage to the existing crop.”
The list of troubles grew this week with reports of wind damage, too.
“Winds of 60 mph on Thursday left 30 to 70 bushels on ground,” said a producer in eastern Nebraska. “Widespread loses everywhere. Thought maybe done by Thanksgiving, now who knows?”
Click this Feedback From The Field link to rate crops in your area and provide yield estimates in your fields. We’ll update reports with the interactive map below that lets you see what other growers are saying around the country. Click the box in the upper left-hand corner to bring up the weekly index; scroll down to see the most current week.
Follow season progress by clicking on the links below.
Feedback from the field - April 24, 2017 - Growers report slow start in northwest Corn Belt.
Feedback from the Field - April 28, 2017 - ‘Baby it’s cold outside’ isn’t the song farmers want to hear.
Feedback from the Field - May 8, 2017 - Emergence sputters as planting slows
Feedback from the Field - May 12, 2017 - Farms make progress but weather still an issue
Feedback from the Field - May 17, 2017 - Growers wary of this week’s new storms
Feedback from the Field - May 19, 2017 - Farmers face cold, wet end to May
Feedback from the Field - May 23, 2017 - Planting proceeds, questions remain
Feedback from the Field - May 26, 2017 - Some growers wonder if it will ever stop raining
Feedback from the Field - June 5, 2017 - Emerging drought threatens spring wheat crop
Feedback from the Field - June 7, 2017 - Progress, problems noted in early growing season
Feedback from the Field - June 12, 2017 - Conditions turned hot and dry last week
Feedback from the Field - June 19, 2017 - Rains improve conditions, but challenges remain
Feedback from the Field - June 26, 2017 - Crops improve but remain below average in year of extremes
Feedback from the Field - July 3, 2017 - Farmers report dire conditions on the northern Plains
Feedback from the Field - July 10, 2017 - Growers still say conditions are below USDA’s crop ratings
Feedback From The Field - July 17, 2017 - Too much or too little: No Goldilocks moment for U.S. crops
Feedback from the Field - July 31, 2017 - Growers say crops still suffering despite rain and cooler temperatures
Feedback from the Field - Aug. 7, 2017 - Growers note small improvement overall in corn and soybeans last week
Feedback from the Field - Aug. 14, 2017 - Crops improve but growers say yields are below USDA forecast
Feedback from the Field - Aug. 21, 2017 - Rain still crucial as growing season winds down
Feedback from the Field - Aug. 28, 2017 - Mild weather improves crops though problem pockets persist
Feedback from the Field - Sept. 5, 2017 - Growers report lower corn and soybean yields than USDA forecasts
Feedback from the Field - Sept. 11, 2017 - Yields look decent but lagging development raises red flag
Feedback from the Field - Sept. 18, 2017 - Growers beg to differ with USDA on size of crops
Feedback from the Field - Sept. 25, 2017 - Crops improve but still far below USDA estimates
Feedback from the Field - Oct. 2, 2017 - Farmers rate crops better, but yields lower
Feedback from the Field - Oct. 9, 2017 - Yield reports improve for corn and soybeans
Feedback from the Field - Oct. 16, 2017 - Weather challenges add up for some growers
Feedback from the Field - Oct. 23, 2017 - Open week gave growers better assessment of crops