How to estimate corn and soybean yields

Corn field

Fall is harvest time for corn and soybeans in the Midwest. If you’d like to more accurately estimate your yields this year, take a look at these resources to give you an idea of what to expect. Keep in mind that these tools don’t factor in harvest loss or other conditions that may affect your crops in the estimation formulas.

Estimating corn yield

The University of Missouri’s Division of Plant Sciences provides a worksheet for estimating corn yields. The worksheet explains each step in the estimation process and also provides space to record the number of ears, number of kernel rows, number of kernels per row, number of kernels per acre, number of kernels per bushel and estimated yield.

Though there isn’t a worksheet, Penn State University Extension’s kernel count method for estimating corn yields features a step-by-step process for measuring possible fall harvest. Examples are included to show how the formula works for both grain and corn silage.

Estimating soybean yield

The Ohio State University Extension-Delaware County’s soybean yield estimates worksheet gives step-by-step instructions for determining potential yield and provides space to record the number of plants, pods per plant, seeds per pod and seeds per pound.

Don’t want the worksheet? Purdue University Extension’s soybean yield calculation method allows farmers to get an estimate for their soybean harvest. After determining the soybean plant population, number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod and number of seeds per pound, you can input the numbers into a formula that will estimate potential yield.

Online calculator

An online pre-harvest corn yield estimate calculator is available, too. Pioneer’s Corn Yield Estimator allows you to input numbers for harvestable ears in 1/1000th acre, the average number of kernel rows per ear and the average number of kernels per row. Possible estimations are then provided for poor, average and excellent growing conditions.


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Katie Woods grew up in Columbiana, Ohio. Katie likes reading, writing, enjoying the outdoors and DIY projects.



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