As the federal government and its agencies begin to ramp up from a mandated furlough, Genscape is filling the gap by using NASA satellite data. The company has released an updated October corn yield forecast of 13.3 billion bushels. The company has noted that other analysts, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), have wide gaps in their predictions ranging from 13.2 billion bushels of corn produced during the 2013 growing season, to 14.2 billion bushels of corn.
Genscape noted a unique combination of spring floods and flash droughts, coupled with an unusually and long growing season, have conspired to make this year’s annual corn forecast the most difficult on record. However, the company said through its Landviewer technology, is able to simplify the complexity of predicting forecasts.
“Given the unusual circumstances around this year’s growing season, we feel our NASA satellite and big data initiatives are even more important,” said Dr. Steffen Mueller, director of spatial grain analytics at Genscape. “We are back to our original prediction of 13.3 billion bushels, and we have the hard data to back it up.”
The gap in USDA data has created delays in many modeling efforts. Genscape said its LandViewer model offers next generation data acquisition techniques, integrates NASA satellite imagery, and the industry’s most unified ground-based crop yield verification – called “ground truthing – with extensive analysis by experienced soil/agricultural scientists.
Normally at this time of year, the USDA incorporates Farm Service Agency (FSA) lost acreage data; however, this year that analysis has not available to market participants because of the temporary government shutdown. Genscape said because it is able to incorporate NASA satellite imagery with best-in-the-industry ground truthing data, their latest forecast is the only known model to account for this market intelligence.