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Department of Agronomy

Kansas State University

1712 Claflin Rd.

2004 Throckmorton PSC

Manhatan, KS 66506



Extension Agronomy

Forecasting corn yields: End-of-season outcomes

The Yield Forecast Center has released its final forecast for corn yields across the Corn Belt. Complete details and information related to participants of the center and yield prediction for the rest of the Corn Belt can be found at:

The final round of end-season corn yield simulations is presented in this article. The corn simulation model Hybrid-Maize Model (http://hybridmaize.unl.edu) was utilized in collaboration with faculty and extension educators from 10 universities across the Corn Belt, including K-State.

For the locations evaluated in Kansas, physiological maturity (black layer) has been reached (for more information see corn growth and development: https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF3305.pdf)

Similar to the trend observed in many areas across the Corn Belt, in general, the corn crop in Kansas did not experience an interruption of grain filling from drought or heat stresses, resulting in favorable conditions during the last phase of the reproductive stages.

For the locations under irrigation (Scandia, Silver Lake, and Garden City) forecasted yields are near the average (+- 10% as compared with the long-term yield average, 2005-2014, Table 1). Overall for all the irrigated locations in the Corn Belt region, forecasted corn yield averaged 200 bu/acre, which is 8% higher than the long-term trend (2005-2014) and only 6 bu/acre less than the highest average on record for irrigated conditions.

Table 1. Forecasted corn yields for 2016 and average corn yield reported by USDA-NASS for the last 10 years for each water regime within the state of Kansas.


Water regime

Forecasted 2016 yield (bu/acre)*

Average (2006-2015) yield (bu/acre)**

% Deviation***

Previous record yield (bu/acre)****













* Based on our median 2016 forecasted actual yield estimated for each location

** State 10-year (2006-2015) average yield reported by USDA-NASS

*** Deviation of forecasted 2016 yield relative to average (2006-2015) yield

**** Highest statewide average yield reported by USDA-NASS during the last 10 years


Forecasted yields for the rainfed locations in Kansas (Scandia, Silver Lake, Rossville, and Hutchinson) are also near average (Table 1). Overall, forecasted corn yield in the Corn Belt averaged 99 bu/acre, 6% higher than the historical average (long-term trend, 2005-2014) (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Forecasted end-of-season average rainfed yield at each location (bu/acre). Colors indicate whether the forecasted 2016 yield is below (≤10%, red), near (±10%, yellow), or above (>10%, green color) the long-term (2005-2014) average at each location. Extracted from Nebraska CropWatch article, see below link to the full version.


In conclusion, corn yields across Kansas are forecast by the Yield Forecast Center to be near the long-term average, with a slightly positive deviation (6-8% related to the water scenario). For the Corn Belt region, the overall yield forecast is 169 bu/acre, higher than average but 5 bu/acre lower than the USDA-NASS forecast presented in September. Combines are still rolling and final corn yield numbers will be known after harvest.

To read the full article on the final Yield Forecast Center report, see:


Ignacio A. Ciampitti, Crop Production and Cropping Systems Specialist