USDA won’t update its 2018 corn and soybean production estimates in the official supply and demand report released Dec. 11. But while the agency waits until January to publish results of its last grower survey, farmers posting yield results on Feedback From The Field this fall made their opinions clear: Both corn and soybean crops are smaller than the government reported in November after a growing season that featured everything from floods to drought to freezes and blizzards.
Indeed, one producer in northern Illinois still had work to do after the post-Thanksgiving snowfall that was washed away over the weekend by heavy thunderstorms. Officially, however, USDA said the harvest was over in the Land of Lincoln in its final 2018 progress report put out last week. “Still some crops to be harvested,” said the grower, who reported average corn yields of 208 bushels per acre, with soybeans coming in at 58 bpa.
Farmers posted nearly 800 reports on Feedback this year. A challenging early growing season gave way to cautious optimism as harvest began. But those hopes started to fade as weather stalled harvest in many areas.
“Drought all summer, heavy rain into fall,” said a farmer from hard-hit northern Missouri. “No fall fieldwork done, no NH3 applied. Lots of soybeans still in the field.”
Yield averages reported by growers reflected those problems, though Feedback results still beat the long-term trend for normal yields in 2018. The average Feedback corn yield came in at 173.3 bpa, down 5.6 bpa from the yield USDA reported in November.
For soybeans, growers dropped their average yields to 50.3 bpa for October and November, as the harvest dragged on. USDA’s November yield estimate was 52.1 bpa.
While Feedback results are anecdotal, they’ve proved a fairly reliable indicator since we began the project in 2016. Look for the feature next spring, when we’ll again let farmers tell the market what’s happening.
Follow along with the season here:
Feedback From The Field - Nov. 12, 2018 - Lower USDA yields no surprise to growers.
Feedback From The Field - Oct. 29, 2018 - First half of harvest leaves farmers unimpressed.
Feedback From The Field - Oct. 20, 2018 - Farmers start returning to fields, don’t like what they see.
Feedback From The Field - Oct. 15, 2018 - Farmers downgrade ratings, yields after heavy rains.
Feedback From The Field - Oct. 11, 2018 - Heavy rains increase worries about damage to crops.
Feedback From The Field - Oct. 8, 2018 - Ratings ease a little but yields hold up strong despite variations.
Feedback From The Field - Oct. 1, 2018 - Producers see improved conditions as more enter fields.
Feedback From the Field - Sept. 24, 2018 - Growers not as optimistic as USDA
Feedback From The Field - Sept. 17, 2018 - Growers not as optimistic as USDA, but still see better yields.
Feedback From The Field - Sept. 4, 2018 - Conditions improve last week as soybeans impress.
Feedback From The Field - Aug. 27, 2018 - Crops improved last week but some fields still suffer.
Feedback From The Field - Aug. 20, 2018 - Boom or bust yields look possible ahead of harvest.
Feedback From The Field - Aug. 9, 2018 - Farmers see good corn and soybean crops so far.
Feedback From The Field - Aug. 6, 2018 - Corn fades, beans come on.
Feedback From The Field - July 25, 2018 - Crops grow, so do worries.
Feedback From The Field - July 16, 2018 - Growers sound more optimistic about crops.
Feedback From The Field - July 12, 2018 - Yield potential ranges from boom to bust.
Feedback From The Field - July 9, 2018 - Growers voice concerns about conditions.
Feedback From The Field - July 2, 2018 - Crops hang on despite hot week.
Feedback From the Field - June 25, 2018 - Heavy rains help some fields, hurt others growers say.
Feedback From the Field - June 18, 2018 - Corn ratings slip after a hot week with hit-or-miss rains.
Feedback From the Field - June 11, 2018 - Corn improves but weekend rains could be crucial.
Feedback From the Field - June 4, 2018 - Crop conditions hold steady, but not as strong as USDA’s ratings.
Feedback From the Field - May 21, 2018 - Will corn planting progress meet the market’s models?
Feedback From the Field - May 14, 2018 - Planting progress hit or miss in the second week of May.
Feedback From the Field - May 7, 2018 - Growers make rapid planting progress outside the far north.
Feedback From the Field - May 2, 2018 - Some growers welcome this week’s rains.
Feedback From The Field - April 30, 2018 - More growers get into the field over the weekend.
Feedback From The Field - April 23, 2018 - April ending with cold, wet conditions stalling planting.
Feedback From The Field - April 19, 2018 - Rain, snow, fires and mud – this spring has it all.
Feedback From The Field - April 18, 2018 - Welcome to springtime in the Midwest.
Feedback From The Field - April 16, 2018 - Interactive tool helps growers share conditions.