One perspective on high yield for 2014 U.S. corn and soybeans
High Yield Estimate 4
The fourth high yield estimate utilizes only information from the trend line regression. It is common to forecast a trend line into the future. For example, for 1984-2013 yields and using a linear regression, the 1984-2013 trend line projects a trend average yield of 158.5 for U.S. corn and 44.2 for U.S. soybeans. Since the trend yield is the middle of the yield distribution, trend yields have a 50% chance of occurring. Higher yields have a smaller chance of occurring. We can utilize the estimated variation around the trend yield, called its standard error, to obtain estimates of the probability of yields higher than trend yield. I have calculated the yields that have a 2.5% and 16.5% chance of occurring. For corn, the variation of historical corn yields around its trend line suggests there is a 16.5% chance of a yield equal to or greater than 170.4 and a 2.5% chance of a yield equal to or greater than 182.4. For soybeans, the variation of historical yields around its trend line suggests there is a 16.5% chance of a yield equal to or greater than 46.8 and a 2.5% chance of a yield equal to or greater than 49.4.
The current crop conditions report suggests that yields are likely to be above trend line. History and statistical methods can give us some idea of what high yields might be. It is important to use a variety of methods and data. When the different methods and data used in this report are combined, the 30 years of U.S. and state yields from 1984 through 2013 suggest that, with good weather throughout the growing season over most of the U.S., a U.S. corn yield in the low-to-mid 170s and U.S. soybean yield in the 47-48 range is attainable. Higher yields could occur but the odds of such yields based on historical yields is very small.
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