December 04, 2023

USDA lowers ‘I’ corn yield projections

WASHINGTON — Projected corn yield averages in the “I” states were lowered and soybeans saw minor, if any, adjustments in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s crop production report on Sept. 12.


The USDA reduced its estimated average corn yield in Illinois to 198 bushels per acre, 3 below the August projection. The Prairie State averaged 214 in 2022.

Harvested acres of 11 million are projected to produce 2.178 billion bushels compared to just over 2.248 billion last year.

Soybeans in Illinois are projected to average 61 bushels per acre, 1 lower than last month’s estimate and 2 below 2022.

Harvested acres of 10.3 million would produce 628.3 million bushels after hitting 677.25 million in 2022.


The state’s average corn yield was reduced by a bushel from last month to 194 bushels per acre, compared to 190 a year ago.

If realized, Indiana’s 5.38 million harvested acres would produce nearly 1.044 billion bushels. The state produced about 975 million bushels in 2022.

The USDA kept Indiana’s projected average soybean yield at a record 60 bushels per acre. The state average 57.5 last year.

USDA has the Hoosier State’s harvested acres at 5.48 million for an estimated production of 328.8 million after harvesting 335.23 million last year.


A 3-bushel reduction was made by USDA in Iowa’s corn yield average from the August report to now 200 bushels per acre, which would match 2022.

The anticipated 12.6 million harvested acres would haul-in 2.52 billion bushels. Iowa produced 2.48 billion last year.

The projected statewide soybean yield was unchanged from last month at 58 bushels per acre, down one-half bushel from 2022. Harvested acres of 9.87 million would produce 572.46 million bushels, nearly 14.3 million below 2022.

Nationwide Corn

Based on conditions as of Sept. 1, U.S. yields are expected to average 173.8 bushels per acre, down 1.3 bushels from the August forecast and up one-half bushel from last year.

Corn production for grain is forecast at 15.1 billion bushels, up less than 1% from the previous forecast and up 10% from 2022.

Acreage updates were made in several states based on a thorough review of all available data. Total planted area, at 94.9 million acres, is up 1% from the previous estimate and 7% above 2022.

Area harvested for grain is forecast at 87.1 million acres, 1% higher than the previous forecast and up 10% from the previous year.

Nationwide Soybeans

U.S. yields are expected to average 50.1 bushels per acre, 0.8 bushels below the forecast last month and 0.6 bushels higher than last year.

Soybean production for beans is forecast at 4.15 billion bushels, down 1% from the previous forecast and 3% below 2022.

Total planted area, at 83.6 million acres, is up less than 1% from the previous estimate, but down 4% from the previous year.

Area harvested for beans in the United States is forecast at 82.8 million acres, less than 1% above the August forecast and down 4% from a year ago.

Survey Methodology

Objective yield and farm operator surveys were conducted between Aug. 25 and Sept. 7 to gather information on expected yield as of Sept. 1.

The objective yield surveys for corn, cotton and soybeans were conducted in the major producing states that usually account for 75% of the U.S. production.

Farm operators selected for the objective yield survey were interviewed to update previously reported acreage data and seek permission to randomly locate two sample plots in selected corn, cotton and soybean fields for the objective yield survey.

The counts made within each sample plot depend on the crop and the maturity of that crop.

In all cases, the number of plants is recorded along with other measurements that provide information to forecast the number of ears, bolls, or pods and their weight.

The counts are used with similar data from previous years to develop a projected biological yield.

Tom Doran

Tom C. Doran

Field Editor