Realistic Yield Expectations for North Carolina Soils

The North Carolina Realistic Yield Database is the product of an extensive data gathering and review process conducted by NC State University, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the North Carolina Division of Soil and Water Conservation. In 1999, county-based representatives of each of the above-named organizations were asked to collect yield data and make a reasoned judgement of the yields for various crops on each of the soils occurring in their county. These data were collected from 87 responses, representing 93 counties. The data were then compared with available research data and intensively reviewed by a panel of field agronomists, soil scientists and researchers familiar with the soils, crops and climatic conditions in each region. In reviewing the data, the following assumptions were made:

  1. Realistic Yield Expectations should be based on the average of the best 3 years in a 5 year period which could be achieved with a high level of management (top 20% of growers)
  2. For soils that may be mapped in multiple regions or in slightly different landscapes (for example, flood plains or stream terraces), the Realistic Yields are based on the most common prevailing conditions for that soil rather than the most ideal site for agricultural production.
  3. For soils that are Somewhat Poorly, Poorly, or Very Poorly Drained, effective artificial drainage MUST be in place to achieve the yields shown in the RYE tables.
  4. For tobacco production in the Piedmont physiographic, irrigation was assumed to be available, whereas no irrigation was assumed in the Coastal Plain physiographic region. This is in accordance with numerous surveys which show less than 15%-20% of tobacco in the Coastal Plain is irrigated, while 70 to 80% of tobacco in the Piedmont receives some irrigation

Citation: North Carolina Interagency Nutrient Management Committee. 2014. Realistic yields and nitrogen application factors for North Carolina crops. North Carolina State University, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Natural Resources Conservation Service. Raleigh NC.

To access the database:

  • Select a county from the drop down menu below. Wait for list of soils.
  • Select your soil
  • Correct for slope by using the slope reported in the soil survey database or by entering the slope you measured in the field

A report will be generated showing a summary of currently available data for the county and soil you selected.

Need help determing the soil to select? You can use our map version of the RYE database, located at:

Additional Guidance for speciality crops can be found at:

Select Your County
Select Your Soil
Correct for Slope

Use Representative Slope Typical of the Soil Mapunit

Use my slope


Dr. David Crouse is responsible for the development and maintenance of the Realistic Yield reporting tool.