Gro’s machine-learning US corn and soybean forecasting models took another tumble today as new data shows further deterioration in crop conditions.
The Gro models, which update daily to forecast end-of-season yields, have predicted the USDA’s final January yield numbers four months in advance, and within 98%-99% accuracy, for the last four years.
Drought readings in US corn producing areas have risen rapidly since late May and are currently at the highest level in at least 20 years, as can be seen using Gro’s Climate Risk Navigator for Agriculture. Land surface temperatures also are significantly higher than usual across the Corn Belt, according to the Navigator app.
The USDA late Monday rated US corn conditions at 55% good-to-excellent, down 6 percentage points from a week earlier and far below last year's rating at this time of 70%. The current rating is the lowest for the crop for this date in 35 years. Meanwhile, the poor-to-very-poor rating for the crop rose 4 points to 12%.
Soybean good-to-excellent ratings are currently at the lowest level since 2012.
Among individual states, Illinois, the No.1 corn-producing state, is now rated 36% good-to-excellent for corn, the lowest rating since 1988, when final yields for the state ended 38% below the preceding five-year average. US national yields in that year were 22% lower than the average.
In neighboring Iowa, good-to-excellent corn conditions this week are down 11 percentage points to 59%, while Indiana saw conditions improve 1 point to 56% good-to-excellent.
The worst corn yield outlook is in the eastern Corn Belt, including Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Gro’s yield forecasts for that region are significantly below the historical average, as shown in Gro’s Yield Model Anomaly tool. The tool compares current yield projections for all of Gro’s forecasting models against the USDA NASS Crop’s five-year average as well as showing daily revisions to national yield forecasts.
Rainfall has been below normal levels in many key growing states, as seen in this Gro display showing precipitation quantities and precipitation differences from a 10-year mean. Forecasts call for paltry precipitation through late June, just ahead of the crop pollination period. Forecasts for early July call for moderate rainfall.
Gro’s US Corn and Soybean Yield Models include seven-day GFS forecasts, so longer-term precipitation is not factored in.