October 19, 2021

Producer survey near USDA yield projections

MCHENRY, Ill. — A nationwide producer-based survey found a few more bushels than what was projected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture last month.

The 32nd annual Allendale survey found a U.S. average of 176.27 bushels per acre for corn and soybeans at 50.14 per acre based on conditions when the survey was taken Aug. 16-27. USDA’s August estimates were 174.57 and 50.03 per acre for corn and soybeans, respectively.

These estimates were based on producer calculated yields in 31 states. Ample surveys gave Allendale the numbers needed to project yields in 12 states. This covers 86% of corn production and 83% of soybean production.

For this survey, the smaller states were assumed using USDA’s Aug. 12 estimates. Harvested acres also were assumed using USDA’s Aug. 12 estimates.

The survey’s “I” state yield projections for corn were Illinois, 213 bushels per acre (USDA estimated 214); Indiana, 199 bushels per acre (USDA 194); and Iowa, 194 bushels per acre (USDA 193).

Soybean yield projects were 63 bushels per acre in Illinois (USDA had it at 64), Indiana was estimated it at 59 bushels per acre (USDA 60), and Iowa was at 56 bushels per acre (USDA 58).

“The main message of the survey as far as the overall numbers, a little higher corn and minimally higher soybean yields,” said Rich Nelson, Allendale chief strategist.

Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska were within 1 to 3 bushels of USDA’s August estimates for corn while Indiana and Minnesota were each 5 bushels per acre above USDA, Nelson noted.

“There are some states that differ, but the top three, more or less in our viewpoints at least, were relatively close to USDA’s Aug. 12 corn estimates,” he said.

“There were no major changes in the top soybean producing states with Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota all within 1 or 2 bushels of USDA’s August estimates.”


Over the past 10 years Allendale has been quite close to USDA’s September numbers.

“In 2020, we were actually within 0.2 bushels per acre of USDA’s September report for corn and right on USDA’s soybean number. Keep in mind this is a survey meant for estimating September’s report,” Nelson said.

“In nine of the past 10 years, Allendale’s survey has been under USDA’s September estimate — overall 1.7 bushels per acre within the 10-year average for corn and that tightens ups to 1.4 bushels per acre if you take out 2012. In 10 of the past 10 years, our survey has been under USDA’s September soybean estimate by an overall average of 1.3 bushels per acre.”

Of the eastern Corn Belt states, Illinois was the only one with an estimated average yield below USDA’s August estimate, and most of the western Corn Belt states were higher than USDA with Nebraska and South Dakota as the exceptions.


The survey also polled respondents on marketing of old crop and new crop sales. Producers have 99% of their old crop corn sold, 4% above 2020, and 35% of their new crop corn is sold (24% in 2020).

Ninety-eight percent of old crop soybeans are sold, 2% more than in last year’s survey. Producers have sold or hedged 31% of new crop soybeans compared to 28% a year ago.

“That’s pretty aggressive compared with historical standards which are generally 15% to 20% in most cases,” Nelson said.

High prices are attracting wheat sales as 50% of this current crop has been sold.

Tom Doran

Tom Doran

Field Editor