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Soggy Scouts See Variable Crops in Iowa, Minnesota

August 21, 2014
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor

Today marks the final day of scouting for the 2014 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. Crop scouts are sampling corn and soybean crops in Iowa and southern Minnesota. Tonight the two legs will meet in Rochester, Minn., for the tour’s final results.

Brian Grete, Pro Farmer Editor, says his group of scouts is wet today, as rains cross northeast Iowa. "The rain is good for the crops, not so good for the crop scouts," he says.

Through Iowa, Grete says crops are all over the board. "We’ve seen high variability in corn and soybean samples," he says. "We are seeing some nitrogen deficiency, but haven’t seen a whole lot of disease or insect pressure."

Regardless, he says the soybean crop has potential. "Typically we feel like when we’re getting rained on during Crop Tour, the bean crop is adding some bushels," he says.

On the western route, Chip Flory, Pro Farmer editorial director and host of daily radio program Market Rally, says crops have been much more consistent. "We’ve seen 30,000 ear population per acre in almost every field we’ve stopped in," he says. "Almost every sample we’ve pulled we’ve had two below-average ears and one good ear."

Crops in southern Minnesota, Flory says, are behind schedule. Most corn is in the late milk to early dough stage, which could cause concerns for the crop reaching full maturity. "It would sure be nice to get an extra 10 days on the end of the growing season without a frost, to make sure we get to black layer so it can realize all the potential it’s got," he says.

Here are a handful of tweets from crop scouts:

@BGrete: Been sampling in rain all morning. Rain is needed, but it makes for a long day on #pftour14

@JasonFranckNC: Alright I've been on the tour for two full days now prob 22 checks in corn and have not had over 198 yet? #pftour14

@RCGFarmWise: #pftour14 Sibley Co corn. Very immature. farmer says 4 weeks to dent. Will have to hurry.

@RuralLeslie: After 12 stops MN route averaging 158bpa #corn, 1200 #soybean pods in 3x3 sq. Seeing firing in corn & cracks- not seen from road. #pftour14

@kurt5line: Things are looking awfully good in SW Iowa. #pftour14

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