The objective of this work was to develop and evaluate a method for estimating corn yield using a minimum number of parameters and limited information about crop management. The proposed method estimates potential and attainable yields based on the technological level of the production systems and on relatively simple agrometeorological models. Corn yield was estimated for the crop seasons from 2000/2001 to 2007/2008, considering several locations and regions in Brazil, and was compared with the actual yield data from official surveys. There was a high correlation between the estimated and observed yield (0.76≤R2<0.92; p<0.01), with model efficiency (E1’) ranging from 0.45 to 0.73; mean relative error (MRE) between -0.9 and 2.4%; and mean absolute error (MAE) of less than 70 kg ha-1, depending on the technological level adopted. Based on these results, the proposed yield model can be recommended to forecast yields all over the country, contributing to make this process more precise and accurate.
Zea mays; large-area crop modeling; paremetrization; risk analysis; technological potential yield; yield forecast