July 2020 Production Report

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July 10, 2020. In its first U.S. production report of the year, Indigo is forecasting:

  • End of season yield at 173.9 bushels per acre (bu/ac) for corn and 49.2 bu/ac for beans
  • End of season production at 14.6B bushels for corn and 4.1B bushels for beans (given USDA area planted estimates)

Compared to the United States Department of Agriculture’s June 11 estimates (178.5 bu/ac for corn and 49.8 bu/ac for beans), Indigo’s July yield estimate is 2.6% and 1.2% below the government agency, respectively. That is in line with the company’s current analysis of crop health, derived primarily through remote sensing data. Nationally, the health of both crops are slightly above the 10-year median. Major producer Illinois, however, is slightly below the average, while Minnesota is strong.

Where are the acres?

In June, the USDA projected almost 5M fewer corn acres than March, and only 2M more corn acres than 2019. Where the change in these acres occurs will have a significant impact on both production and local basis. Indigo has developed methods to assess corn and soybeans area planted on a field-by-field basis by comparing 2020 satellite imagery to imagery from past years. Differences in the crop canopies development allow us to identify the crop. 

Starting with southern states – where the crop is furthest developed – and moving north, we will generate area planted estimates through the end of July. So far, we have provided perspective on states as far north as Kansas and Missouri (and have already identified 1 million fewer corn acres in Kansas). By the end of July, we will have the 18 largest corn and soybean producing states in view.

How do we generate our forecasts?

Indigo Atlas combines remote sensing, ground equipment, weather, and historical data to deliver models that assess – among other factors – crop health and production at the county and national level. 

To track the dynamic variables that affect crops, Atlas leverages the Crop Health Index (CHI), a proprietary measurement of plant performance built and optimized for agriculture. CHI is updated in real time, with new insights into the health of almost a dozen crops generated every day. The immediacy and accuracy of this information supports timely decision making for growers.


Need a deeper understanding of the report? Watch the below webinar, Matt Beckwith, director of Indigo’s production reports.

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