BOSTON, Feb. 16, 2010 – AIR Worldwide (AIR) today announced that its industry-leading Crop Yield Model accurately projected 2009 corn and soybean yields, as confirmed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) end-of-season estimates. In an October 28, 2009 report, AIR projected end-of-season corn average yield at 166.2 bushels per acre and 44.0 bushels per acre for soybeans, based on its Crop Yield Model. On January 12, 2010, the USDA reported a record crop size of 13.151 billion bushels of corn, with a yield of 165.2 bushels per acre and 3.3 billion bushels of soybeans with a yield of 44.0 bushels per acre. The AIR Crop Yield Model is a key component of the AIR Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) Model for the United States.
“From the beginning of the summer, the AIR Crop Model pointed at record-breaking corn and soybean yields despite adverse weather events that affected the crops at different times during the growing season,” said Dr. Gerhard Zuba, principal scientist at AIR Worldwide. “As far back as July, AIR estimated that corn yields could rise to 167.4 bushels an acre, compared with 153.4 bushels forecast by the USDA, and soybean fields could exceed 43 bushels an acre, matching the record set in 2005.”
To accurately isolate and quantify the effects of weather on crop yield, it is necessary to remove the long-term impact of technological improvements. AIR developed the Agricultural Weather Index (AWI), which is used to de-trend the time series of historical yields to create more accurate yield distributions. This approach explicitly accounts for extreme weather events that may otherwise be very difficult to distinguish from the technological trend.
“The AIR MPCI model captures the full range of potential yield losses that could occur in a growing season, and the model is updated ahead of each crop insurance and reinsurance renewal season,” continued Dr. Zuba. “This same technology is also used during the growing season to bring an entirely new level of sophistication to risk analysis and decision making. Commodity traders using the AIR model would not have been surprised by the January 12 National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) report.”
About AIR Worldwide
AIR Worldwide (AIR) is the scientific leader and most respected provider of risk modeling software and consulting services. AIR founded the catastrophe modeling industry in 1987 and today models the risk from natural catastrophes and terrorism in more than 50 countries. More than 400 insurance, reinsurance, financial, corporate and government clients rely on AIR software and services for catastrophe risk management, insurance-linked securities, detailed site-specific wind and seismic engineering analyses, agricultural risk management, and property replacement cost valuation. AIR is a member of the ISO family of companies and is headquartered in Boston with additional offices in North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit www.air-worldwide.com.