Corn bears are talking about improving U.S. weather forecasts, while the bulls are talking about all-time record heat readings being recorded in France and other parts of Europe. Bottom line: We remain lodged in a weather market, and do not need to keep repeating the same rhetoric. Below are some very vague guesses as to what the trade is thinking in regard to yields this year compared to last year. Obviously these are wild guess and simply a blend of what I've been hearing from various sources early on. Hope this helps provide a small reference point for your own calculations, I'll include other states every few days.
Arkansas - Seems fairly similar to the past few years with most talking about a statewide yield somewhere between 185 and 190 bushels per acre.
Colorado - Could repeat their record performance of 146 bushels per acre from last year or perhaps even beat it. Most seem to be looking for a 2015 yield of between 145 and 150 bushels per acre.
Illinois - This is the big wild card, and the state that will more than likely determine our ultimate direction in the market. Remember, last year they produced the record 200-bushel state-wide average. so far this year I'm hearing everything from 165 to 175 bushels per acre. Personally, I think a 170 number is a fair assessment, and even that might end up being a bit high, needing to adjust lower.
Indiana - Here's a state that could see their yield drop by 50 bushels per acre. Last year they had an amazing crop at 188 bushel yield. This year there is talk it could be between 130 and 140 bushels per acre. I'm thinking a big part in determining this states yield will depend on how many fields actually get "zeroed out." There's no question Indian is going to take a substantial hit in state-wide production.
Iowa - There seems to be a ton of talk about Iowa circulating inside the trade. Yes, they are the nations top-producing state, but I personally think Illinois is going to be a much larger "wild-card" this year, hence be an overall more important piece of the puzzle to try and figure out. In any regard I wanted to pass along a link and resource tool for those who are focused in on Iowa. The good folks over at Iowa State University have listed Iowa's Historical Corn Yields by County. Below is just a small overview (click the above link to see their detailed report), but as you can see the states overall top yield was posted in 2009 at 182 bushels per acre. Also notice how the southwest counties posted strong record yields in 2009, something I'm not sure will be the case this year. It's still anyones guess, and yes their crop overall looks good, but I still have a hard time digesting a statewide average of 190 bushels or higher.