Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Ser­­­­­vice (NASS) released the Crop Production report which included the first survey-based corn and soybean yield and production forecast for the 2018 growing season.

Making these forecasts is never easy especially across a wide geographic area like the entire United States. Just looking out the back door at local conditions doesn’t tell you anything about the crop potential in other states or even other counties in Iowa for that matter. That is one reason why it is important for NASS to provide this comprehensive information.

Basis of the forecasts

The corn and soybean yield and production forecasts are obtained monthly, August through November, based on two different types of yield surveys. One survey is a random sample of growers that are asked to report yields they...