July 31, 2018

On August 10th at noon ET,  the USDA's National Agriculture Statistics Service ("NASS") will release its updated crop production report. The August report is often considered  the most climactic event of the reporting season, due to the comprehensive look at crop trends in the U.S. and worldwide. As opposed to the May, June and July USDA WASDE reports, the August NASS is the first report of the year to feature survey-based yield and production forecasts.

Survey-based reports can provide a valuable, ground-level perspective on crop performance by incorporating farmer insights. However, surveys are also vulnerable to decreased accuracy due to lack of participation.  Farmers are understandably concerned about protecting their individual data and are often reluctant to hand over their personal information to government agencies; as a result, participation has fallen from >80% in the 1990s to below 60% today.  Higher participation rates are important because outlier estimates are more likely to cancel each other out, leading to a more accurate average.

Response rates to NASS surveys have steadily declined over the years.

In 2017,  National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine suggested that NASS should  incorporate different sources of information, such model-based predictions and satellite data, in order to correct for reduced survey participation and potential bias.

Here at  TellusLabs, our  Kernel product is using satellite and weather based models to publish daily forecasts of end-of-season yield for US corn, soy and spring wheat (forecasts that have been earlier and more accurate than the USDA for two years in a row).  Sign up here for a free demo and trial of this software!

Also in News

USDA August 2018 Report - Summary
USDA August 2018 Report - Summary

August 10, 2018

Today, the USDA released its August Crop Production Report, which included forecasts for the end-of-season US corn and soy yield. Once again we are out of consensus...
TellusLabs Farm Tour: Nebraska
TellusLabs Farm Tour: Nebraska

July 25, 2018

This past week, David Potere (CEO) and Matt Beckwith (Head of Field Insights) visited several farms in Nebraska to take a ground-level look at the crops that we monitor from space.
Update on Flooding in Iowa and Minnesota
Update on Flooding in Iowa and Minnesota

July 17, 2018

Soy farmers on the ground in Northern Iowa and Southern Minnesota report heavy flooding and subsequent crop loss.