Pro Farmer National Corn & Soybean Crop Estimates

Posted on Fri, 08/21/2020 - 13:30

Pro Farmer national corn and soybean crop estimates:

  • Corn: 14.820 billion bu.; Average yield of 177.5 bu. per acre
    • +/- 1% = 14.968 billion bu. to 14.672 billion bu.; 179.3 bu. to 175.7 bu. per acre
  • Soybeans: 4.362 billion bu.; Average yield of 52.5 bu. per acre
    • +/- 2% = 4.449 billion bu. to 4.275 billion bu.; 53.6 bu. to 51.5 bu. per acre

The national estimates above reflect Pro Farmer’s view on production and yields. They take into account data gathered during Crop Tour and other factors, such as crop maturity, acreage adjustments, historical differences in Tour data versus USDA’s final yields, areas outside those sampled on Crop Tour, etc. That’s why the state yield numbers below differ from the Crop Tour figures. Both our corn and soybean yields would be records, but not as big as USDA estimated Aug. 1. We cut 525,000 acres from harvested corn acres, with 300,000 coming from Iowa. That puts harvested acres at 83.498 million.


Following are our state by state corn yield estimates:

Iowa: 180 bu. per acre. Yield potential in western Iowa is sliding due to drought with dryness throughout the state pushing the crop to maturity. Hurricane-strength winds flattened crops across a wide swath in central Iowa. Some of that corn will be harvested, but further yield loss is likely between now and then. Rains will provide little benefit.

Illinois: 205 bu. per acre. It’s a good corn crop, but maybe not the bin buster some expected. Big gains in grain length could be a savior or a killer depending on weather. Ear counts were below average. The crop has more to lose than to gain.

Nebraska: 188 bu. per acre. It’s a good crop. Irrigated yields were decent, but we didn’t see many shockingly high numbers. Dryland yields shouldn’t drag down the average, though irrigated acres won’t pull the yield up. Another rain would help, but forecasts are dry near-term.

Minnesota: 199 bu. per acre. Ear counts, grain length and kernel rows around were all up from average, driving up yield potential. Scouts found big, heavy ears.

Indiana: 186 bu. per acre. The variability of the crop means getting to USDA’s big yield estimate of 188 bu. per acre could be tough, but mild August weather and rains during Tour help. Around a third of the crop still needs some time.

Ohio: 176 bu. per acre. There’s too much variability due to dry spots to beat the 2018 record yield of 187 bu. per acre, but it’s still going to be a good crop. Whether  late-season rains fall will determine if yield potential contracts or expands from what we measured on Crop Tour.

South Dakota: 164 bu. per acre. This is the best corn crop we’ve seen in the state. One more rain would guarantee big yields and test weights.


We estimated state soybean yields as follows:

Iowa: 55 bu. per acre. The crop has stalled and needs a rain in the next 10 days. Soil moisture from Crop Tour samples was down 46%. Derecho winds certainly impacted the crop, but nowhere near as much as corn. Pod counts were up slightly from year-ago, but that number will go down if late-season rains fail to materialize.

Illinois: 62 bu. per acre. Consistency of pod counts continued in Illinois. The state will have a very good crop, but perhaps not the record USDA forecasts. Rains are needed soon to prevent plants from aborting pods.

Nebraska: 59 bu. per acre. The pod factory is there for another record yield, with scouts noting clean, healthy fields. But the crop will need a rain soon to get to the finish line without losing some pods, and near-term forecasts look dry. The risk is to the downside. 

Minnesota: 51 bu. per acre. Pod counts are there for a record soybean yield. One more drink would help the crop finish strong.

Indiana: 61 bu. per acre. Consistency leads to a good crop, and the state’s bean crop is certainly uniform. Crops were clean and well-podded, despite dryness in northern areas of the state. Rain during Tour should help pod fill.

Ohio: 57 bu. per acre. Late-season rain and an extended season could help the crop top 2018’s yield of 56 bu. per acre. The bean crop is outperforming corn in the state.

South Dakota: 51 bu. per acre. Talk about a 180-degree turn. We found clean, uniform fields that looked like carpet. Based on what we saw, USDA’s 50 bu. per acre record yield estimate is possible, but the crop will need rain to get there. If rains fall, the state’s crop could be a monster.