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Planalytics Projects Below-Trend US Corn Yields But Above Last Year’s Crop

First of Eight Rounds of Satellite-Based Crop Assessments Just Released

BERWWN, PA, June 4, 2021 — “Weather thru June could play a greater role than usual in establishing baseline expectations for the 2021 US corn crop.” This is one of the observations from Planalytics’ initial GreenReport Corn Yield Forecasts that utilize satellite imagery to measure current crop vigor in combination with historic yields.

Produced in collaboration with TerraMetrics Agriculture, Inc., Planalytics initial national corn yield estimate of 174.3 bushels per acre represents an increase of 2.3 bushels over last year’s subpar crop. USDA reported earlier this year the final 2020 yield was 172 bushels per acre. Their May WASDE report predicted a 2021 US corn yield estimate of 179.5 bu/ac.

“This is our 20th year of real-time, satellite-based crop yield forecasting”, stated Jude Kastens, PhD, Research Associate Professor at the Kansas Applied Remote Sensing Program (KARS) located at the University of Kansas. Kastens is senior analyst on the joint Planalytics/TerraMetrics project that includes forecasting yields on a bi-weekly basis for winter wheat, soybeans and five other summer crops in addition to corn. “While we typically observe behavior in our forecasts more or less consistent with early-season USDA crop conditions, this year the discrepancy – our national estimate is 6.1 bushels below trend yield, while USDA crop conditions are well above average – is large.”

With the growing season just getting underway and areas of soil moisture shortage particularly prominent in the Western Corn Belt, the possibility of a dry near-term outlook expanding eastward could impact corn plants at a critical agronomic stage, between emergence and pollination. “Since corn growth is heavily driven by daytime high temperatures, and since much of the Corn Belt recently experienced a week or two or substantially cooler-than-normal temperatures, many fields have been slow to develop,” added Jeffrey Doran, Planalytics Director of Specialized Support and Services. “This may have offset any timing-related early planting advantages and could also account for the average-looking satellite greenness we’ve reported in our weekly GreenReport”.

“The bottom line”, Kastens says, “is that depending on how June weather shakes out, any broad shift toward warmer and drier conditions could have a negative impact on maximum yield potential across a wide area. While it is too early to get alarmed, this certainly is a situation we’ll be keeping an eye on.”

Planalytics biweekly crop yield forecasts are provided are available on an annual subscription basis. For more information, go to, or contact Planalytics at 800.882.5881.


Planalytics, Inc. ( is the global leader in Business Weather Intelligence®. Through advanced weather analysis technologies, planning and optimization solutions, and industry-specific expertise, Planalytics helps companies precisely measure weather-driven impacts and effectively manage the never-ending variability of climate. Leading companies from a wide array of industries use Planalytics to “weatherize their business”, taking advantage of opportunities to increase revenue while deploying strategies to reduce costs and protect margins during periods of risk.

Kansas Applied Remote Sensing (KARS) is a research program of the Kansas Biological Survey at the University of Kansas. The Program was established by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the State of Kansas to conduct applied research on techniques that enable public agencies and private firms to better utilize data from satellite and air-borne remote sensing systems. Since 1996, KARS and its commercial partners, TerraMetrics Agriculture, Inc. and Planalytics, Inc., have focused research on environmental and agricultural applications of remote sensing technology and the transfer of products and services derived from remote sensing technologies to commercial, governmental, and other end users.

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