2022 Corn Yield Forecasts as of Aug. 2

2022 Corn Yield Forecasts as of Aug. 2

Simulations of 2022 end-of-season corn yield potential and real-time crop stage were performed on Aug. 2 for 40 locations across the U.S. Corn Belt using the UNL Hybrid-Maize crop model in collaboration with faculty and extension educators from 10 universities. This article summarizes the simulated crop stages and yield forecasts; the data can be seen in Table 1. Details on the UNL Hybrid-Maize crop model and the underpinning methodology to simulate phenology and forecast end-of-season yields, as well as on interpretation and uses of yield forecasts, are described in a previous article.

Over the past two weeks, average air temperature has remained near average values in most of the Corn Belt. However, a few sites in southern KS and most of NE showed daily temperatures above historical average and the eastern fringe of the region (IN and OH) has also experienced above-average night temperatures. In the case of rainfall, areas in eastern NE, southwestern MN, the entire IA, and central IL exhibited below normal records, while sites in the southeastern fringe of the Corn Belt experienced above-normal rainfall. The remaining locations across the region showed near-normal records. A summary of weather conditions during the last two weeks is shown in Figure 1.

Weather conditions summary chart
Figure 1. Daily solar radiation, maximum and minimum air temperature (Tmax and Tmin), total rainfall, and total reference grass-based evapotranspiration (ET) for the time period between July 19 and Aug. 2, 2022. Vertical bars indicate the range for these variables based on 20-plus years of weather records. The horizontal thick line indicates the long-term average and the red dots indicate the 2022 values for the same period.

Table 1. Data from simulations of 2022 end-of-season corn yield potential and real-time crop stage performed on July 19.
LocationWater regimeLong-term average yield (bu/ac) §Range of Yp forecasts as of Aug 02 (bu/ac)¶ 25thRange of Yp forecasts as of Aug 02 (bu/ac)¶ 75thProbability (%) of 2022 yield to be: Below (relative to the long-term Yp)†Probability (%) of 2022 yield to be: Near (relative to the long-term Yp)†Probability (%) of 2022 yield to be: Above (relative to the long-term Yp)†Simulated current crop stage*
NE Alliance Irrigated 193 194 220 0% 70% 30% R3, Milk
Beatrice Dryland 161 136 161 44% 44% 12% R4, Dough
Irrigated 230 205 220 28% 72% 0% R4, Dough
Clay Center Dryland 157 89 143 72% 28% 0% R3, Milk
Irrigated 245 228 247 15% 82% 2% R3, Milk
Concord Dryland 174 110 171 68% 28% 5% R3, Milk
Irrigated 249 241 263 10% 75% 15% R3, Milk
Elgin Irrigated 252 237 272 12% 74% 15% R3, Milk
Holdrege Dryland 113 100 141 26% 32% 41% R4, Dough
Irrigated 242 244 264 6% 76% 18% R3, Milk
McCook Dryland 88 51 72 92% 8% 0% R4, Dough
Irrigated 225 201 217 28% 72% 0% R4, Dough
Mead Dryland 182 120 158 78% 22% 0% R3, Milk
Irrigated 235 215 239 15% 78% 8% R4, Dough
North Platte Dryland 90 57 105 55% 15% 30% R3, Milk
Irrigated 234 234 264 2% 62% 35% R3, Milk
O'Neill Irrigated 227 217 250 5% 68% 27% R3, Milk
IA Ames Dryland 229 191 227 50% 44% 6% R2, Blister
Crawfordsville Dryland 230 151 172 100% 0% 0% R3, Milk
Lewis Dryland 209 162 199 62% 38% 0% R2, Blister
Nashua Dryland 228 227 254 6% 61% 33% R2, Blister
Sutherland Dryland 210 161 185 79% 18% 3% R2, Blister
IL Bondville Dryland 235 199 228 43% 53% 3% R3, Milk
Freeport Dryland 212 209 248 9% 53% 38% R2, Blister
Olney Dryland 190 204 217 0% 44% 56% R4, Dough
Peoria Dryland 211 196 230 10% 69% 21% R3, Milk
Springfield Dryland 179 219 229 0% 5% 95% R3, Milk
IN Butlerville Dryland 224 208 223 5% 95% 0% R3, Milk
Columbia City Dryland 224 229 252 0% 53% 47% R2, Blister
Davis Dryland 231 223 244 0% 95% 5% R3, Milk
West Lafayette Dryland 238 183 221 58% 42% 0% R2, Blister
KS Garden City Irrigated 218 192 209 42% 58% 0% R4, Dough
Hutchinson Dryland 100 63 63 100% 0% 0% R5, Dent
Manhattan Dryland 136 164 172 0% 0% 100% R4, Dough
Scandia Dryland 131 95 140 50% 31% 19% R3, Milk
Irrigated 226 228 256 6% 50% 44% R3, Milk
Silverlake Dryland 141 146 165 0% 39% 61% R4, Dough
Irrigated 209 207 225 3% 81% 17% R4, Dough
MI Ceresco Dryland 180 185 220 5% 43% 52% R1, Silking
MN Eldred Dryland 115 102 147 27% 15% 58% R1, Silking
Lamberton Dryland 212 190 217 28% 60% 12% R2, Blister
Waseca Dryland 219 223 258 0% 48% 52% R2, Blister
MO Brunswick Dryland 181 165 203 27% 36% 36% R3, Milk
Monroe City Dryland 174 200 225 0% 10% 90% R3, Milk
St. Joseph Dryland 167 204 219 0% 9% 91% R3, Milk
ND Dazey Dryland 109 104 144 19% 30% 52% R1, Silking
OH Custar Dryland 208 199 227 14% 62% 24% R1, Silking
South Charleston Dryland 216 219 249 0% 50% 50% R2, Blister
Wooster Dryland 210 209 234 3% 62% 35% R1, Silking

§Long-term (last 20-plus years) potential yield at each location and surrounding area.
¶ Range of forecasted 2022 potential yields based on average planting date in 2022, indicating the potential yields in the 25th and 75th percentile of the potential yield distribution (associated with respective adverse and favorable weather scenarios during the rest of the season).
† Probability of obtaining a 2022 yield below (<-10%), near (±10%), and above (>10%) than the long-term potential yield at each location.

Simulated Corn Stage Across 40 Locations

Corn has reached kernel milk stage in the south and western fringes of Corn Belt, while sites in ND and the eastern area are still in silking stage. Corn in KS and southern NE are ahead of the rest of the locations, reaching the dough and even dent stage (Figure 2). Except for NE and KS, most locations are behind last year’s corn development by early August, especially in ND, due to late planting.

Figure 2. Simulated developmental stage for irrigated and rainfed corn at each location. R1: silking; R2: blister; R3: milk; R4: dough; R5: dent. Separate maps are shown for irrigated corn (top) and rainfed corn (bottom).

Irrigated Corn: High Probability of Near-average Yields

The range of forecasted irrigated corn yield potential for each location, as well as the probabilities for yields above, near, or below average, are shown in Figures 3 and 4. Five out of 13 sites exhibit a high probability (>75%, that is, a chance of 3 out of 4) of near-average yield potential. Favorable weather during the rest of the season that results in a long grain-filling period may increase the likelihood of above-average yield. The chance of below-average yield is low across irrigated sites in north and central NE and eastern KS but increases in a few sites in south NE and southwestern KS. At this point, the forecasted scenario for irrigated maize in the current season seems similar to the 2021 forecasts.

Variable 2022 Forecasted Corn Yield Across Rainfed Locations

Forecasted yield potential is highly variable across the 35 rainfed sites (Figures 3 and 4). There is a high probability of above-average yield (>75%) at four sites in the south-central area of the Corn Belt, while five sites distributed across IA, NE and southern KS have a high probability of below-average yields. Probability of near-average yield is relatively high in the central and eastern part of the Corn Belt (most of IL, IN and OH).

Compared with our previous forecast, below-average rainfall in IA and eastern NE during the past two weeks increased the probability of below-average yields in that area, reducing the forecasted yield for the 2022 season. Compared with the 2021 forecast, the forecasted scenario for rainfed maize seems more favorable in ND, MN, NE and north of KS in the current season, while the scenario looks more pessimistic in most sites of IA and southern KS. In the remaining area, the scenario looks similar compared with 2021 forecasts. Overall, the forecasted yield for the entire Corn Belt is near the historical average.

Figure 3. Vertical lines indicate the range of forecasted 2022 corn yield potential by Aug. 2 based on average planting date in 2022 at each location. Horizontal lines indicate the 25th and 75th percentiles of the yield distribution (associated with respective adverse and favorable weather scenarios during the rest of the season). The blue squares indicate the long-term (2005-2021) average yield potential at each location. Separate charts are shown for irrigated corn (top) and rainfed corn (bottom).
Figure 4. Probability of the 2022 yield potential to be below (<10%, red color), near (± 10%, yellow color), and above (>10%, green color) the long-term (2005-2021) average yield potential at each location. Separate maps are shown for irrigated corn (top) and rainfed corn (bottom). The larger a color section is within the pie chart, the higher the probability that end-of-season corn yield will be in that category.

Conclusions

Similar to our previous forecast in mid-July, there is a high probability of near-average yields for most of the irrigated sites.

For rainfed corn, the scenario is diverse across regions. Most sites in the central and eastern part of the Corn Belt have a high probability of near-average yields. Above-average yield is expected at four locations located in the southern fringe of the Corn Belt. In contrast, five sites in IA, NE, and southern KS exhibit a high probability of below-average yields. Temperature and rainfall during August will likely define the trend for all sites across the region.

These forecasts do not take into consideration problems with stand emergence, hail/flooding damage, replanting situations, disease or nitrate leaching. In fields negatively affected by these constraints, actual yields will be lower than estimates provided here. It is important to keep in mind that yield forecasts are not field specific and, instead, represent an estimate of average on-farm yield for a given location and surrounding area in absence of the yield-reducing factors mentioned here. Likewise, crop stages and forecasted yields will deviate from the ones reported here in fields with planting dates or hybrid maturities that differ markedly from those used as the basis for the forecasts. We will follow up with further forecasts in late August.

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A field of corn.