Predicting Yield Before Harvest: How Does the USDA Forecast Corn and Soybean Yield?
Crop production forecasts have two components--acres to be harvested and expected yield per acre. For example, preliminary corn and soybean acreage estimates are made using data obtained from a survey of farmers conducted during the first 2 weeks in June. Expected corn and soybean yields are obtained monthly, August through November, from two different types of yield surveys. Data from the yield surveys reflect conditions as of the first of the month, as data are collected during the last week of the previous month and the first 2 or 3 days of the current month.