This map shows estimated corn growth stage progression through July 3 2013

This map shows estimated corn growth stage progression through July 3, 2013.

Using Data to Measure Crop Progress

Climate Corporation, the folks who brought you weather insurance, offer a new way to look at crop progress.

Just how is the crop progressing in 2013? Farmers get those USDA reports on Monday [3] afternoons reported widely by all of us in the ag press. And it's useful information, but there are now tools that allow companies to take actual data and create a look at crop progress in more interesting ways.

Climate Corporation has done just that with a map they created late last week. According to Jeff Hamlin, director of agronomic research, they combined data from their planting data model and their corn phenology model to create estimates of corn crop maturity at representative fields in every Corn Belt county that is a major corn producer. The organization plans to start putting a report out every Monday, this is a look at their first.

This is interesting stuff as you can see that corn is just entering R2 in the bootheel of MIssouri. It's hard to see on this image but the yellow=R1, olive green is V16 and as you progress toward blue you're in earlier V-stages.

Essentially the data does show the crop is behind, something that Climate Corporation tracks closely as part of its insurance protection program. This is a program that pays farmers based on complex computer models that predict yield and final income using weather as the determinant. This map is just one representation of how they can pull together weather information to show information in new ways.

As their site - [4] - notes, the company models crop progress for more than 29 million individual fields across the Corn Belt. The modeling is based on data reported by public sources, but processed through Climate Corp.'s unique technology platform. And the video image shows you that the U.S. corn crop has some catching up to do.

"These field-level estimates give a view into crop maturity that is far more granular than anything else available," Hamlin told Farm Industry News in an e-mail. "And will be very useful in estimating the harm that any heat waves might be doing as we approach pollination."

The video below, from their site, shows the progression. You can check out individual state data across the Midwest at their site.

Corn Belt field-level estimated corn growth stage progression: March 20, 2013 to July 3, 2013 [5] from TheClimateCorporation [6] on Vimeo [7].