YieldCast: Best Track Record In the Industry Last 10 Years

The real test of the accuracy of U.S. corn and soybean yield forecasts takes place before the USDA issues their first forecast in the August Crop Production report.  During critical periods leading into that report, yield forecasters do not have the benefit of “anchoring” to USDA estimates.

For corn, the performance of YieldCast forecasts in early August is truly outstanding.  Over the last 10 growing seasons, before the release of the August USDA Crop Production report, the YieldCast forecast of U.S. corn yield averaged #1 closest to the final yield of ~35 market analysts (and was more accurate than the USDA forecast), including:

#1 most accurate of 32 forecasts in 2010
#2 most accurate of 31 forecasts in 2011
#1 most accurate of 40 forecasts in 2015
#3 most accurate of 34 forecasts in 2016
#1 most accurate of 29 forecasts in 2017
#6 most accurate of 29 forecasts in 2019


2019_corn_mape_aug1 corn_errors_aug_all_since_2010


More so, YieldCast corn forecasts in September and especially October beat the market, and were similar to USDA forecasts of final yield.

2018 corn forecasts provides another example of the value YieldCast provides with our October forecast having missed the true yield by less than 1 bpa: In early August, there was a somewhat wide difference between the YieldCast, market, and USDA forecasts leading into the August Crop Production report, and the YieldCast forecast was too low.  However, USDA and market forecasts shot much higher through October, while YieldCast forecasts were fairly steady at approximately 175 bpa.  It took all the way until January for the final yield to be realized at 176.4 bpa, showing the market and USDA became much too optimistic with errors of +5.2 and +4.3 bpa too high, while YieldCast was off by -0.9 bpa.

For soybeans, the story is good with YieldCast having averaged slightly closer to the final yield than the market analysts in August, and were similar to the USDA.  Forecasts improved through October, but were not as accurate as the market and USDA as more harvest information was utilized by each.  More information is available on this page.