US winter wheat yield and production forecast 2017


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I’ve been playing around for a while with USDA NASS crop statistics, and have built a simple yet powerful Bayesian hierarchical network for predicting crop yields early in the season. Since the first USDA winter wheat yield forecast is due in less than a week (the next crop production report is programmed on May 10th), I thought it might be fun to present my own forecast.

The above map depicts the expected yields at the state level, in bushels per acre. By placing the pointer over a given state it is possible to get the numeric values of the expected yield with its prediction interval, and the anomaly in percentage over the last 5-years average. It is possible to switch the representation between yield and anomaly. This is the complete dataset shown on the map:

Winter wheat yield forecast (July 23rd, 2017)
yield PI (2.5%) PI (97.5%) 5-y average 5-y anomaly
Alabama 72 63 81
Arkansas 59 52 66 58 +2.4%
California 80 73 88 79 +2.3%
Colorado 38 30 46 36 +5.9%
Delaware 72 64 80
Georgia 45 36 54
Idaho 88 81 95 84 +3.8%
Illinois 68 60 76 67 +0.6%
Indiana 75 67 82 73 +2.3%
Kansas 44 36 51 40 +8.1%
Kentucky 75 64 86
Louisiana 35 25 45
Maryland 70 61 78
Michigan 81 75 88 79 +3.2%
Mississippi 62 53 73
Missouri 61 53 68 59 +2.3%
Montana 42 35 49 43 -0.7%
Nebraska 46 39 53 43 +6.3%
New Jersey 70 62 78
New Mexico 28 19 36
New York 75 68 82
North Carolina 57 49 65 53 +6.6%
North Dakota 44 35 51
Ohio 75 68 83 72 +4.9%
Oklahoma 33 26 40 30 +10.9%
Oregon 62 55 69 56 +10.3%
Pennsylvania 69 62 77
South Carolina 42 32 50
South Dakota 42 35 49 49 -14.3%
Tennessee 71 61 80
Texas 32 25 40 31 +5.0%
Utah 57 49 64
Virginia 61 52 69
Washington 71 64 78 65 +8.9%
West Virginia 65 57 73
Wisconsin 82 75 89
Wyoming 32 25 39

The expected yield informs about the development of the crop, especially if it is compared with the average of the previous years, but the yield alone does not inform about the expected winter wheat production. The final production is the result of the yield and the acreage (the area planted), which varies from year to year. By combining the expected yield with the estimated crop acreage, it is possible to estimate the production. A production map can be found below:


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The total US winter wheat production is estimated at 1,575,383 (x 1,000) bushels, or 34,299 (x 1,000) metric tons. This is a variation of +1% with respect to last week’s estimate. As a reference, the total US winter wheat production in the period 2014-2016 was: 1,377,216, 1,374,690, 1,671,532 (x 1,000) bushels, or 29,985, 29,930, 36,393 (x 1,000) metric tons, respectively.

Production forecasts by state can be found below:

Winter wheat yield forecast (July 23rd, 2017)
production PI (2.5%) PI (97.5%) 5-y average 5-y anomaly
Alabama 12,256 10,772 13,735
Arkansas 11,577 10,188 12,945 21,366 -45.8%
California 30,947 28,052 33,877 18,777 +64.8%
Colorado 87,167 70,128 104,672 76,880 +13.4%
Delaware 5,033 4,505 5,618
Georgia 9,061 7,295 10,757
Idaho 63,933 58,911 68,987 61,240 +4.4%
Illinois 35,250 31,082 39,270 42,142 -16.4%
Indiana 21,661 19,554 23,821 23,334 -7.2%
Kansas 327,562 271,950 384,468 347,800 -5.8%
Kentucky 41,194 35,120 47,056
Louisiana 879 628 1,126
Maryland 28,158 24,776 31,644
Michigan 39,117 35,932 42,328 41,779 -6.4%
Mississippi 3,718 3,164 4,380
Missouri 41,178 36,061 46,414 42,147 -2.3%
Montana 80,362 67,089 92,917 90,908 -11.6%
Nebraska 51,225 43,331 59,160 56,194 -8.8%
New Jersey 1,749 1,561 1,947
New Mexico 9,122 6,393 11,796
New York 10,512 9,534 11,530
North Carolina 26,667 23,121 30,352 36,866 -27.7%
North Dakota 2,840 2,295 3,338
Ohio 36,898 33,303 40,558 38,538 -4.3%
Oklahoma 148,719 118,055 178,226 108,620 +36.9%
Oregon 44,479 39,528 49,469 42,183 +5.4%
Pennsylvania 13,899 12,357 15,395
South Carolina 3,736 2,880 4,541
South Dakota 40,046 33,440 46,513 50,502 -20.7%
Tennessee 27,711 23,837 31,373
Texas 155,265 120,193 190,540 85,490 +81.6%
Utah 7,412 6,388 8,356
Virginia 11,569 9,921 13,122
Washington 120,363 108,723 132,223 107,342 +12.1%
West Virginia 517 453 584
Wisconsin 18,784 17,163 20,439
Wyoming 4,819 3,707 5,876

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