After nearly 20 years of hosting its annual Midwest Crop Tour, you would think the leaders at Pro Farmer have seen it all. Not this year.
Chip Flory, Pro Farmer editor, says the conditions crop scouts will face this week will be unmatched by any previous years. "We haven’t had to do a Tour in these type of conditions ever before."
Flory says the 2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour will be different this year because:
- Maturity of the crop. "This will be the most mature crop we’ve ever looked at," he says. Farmers planted corn unbelievably early this spring and the crops were pushed along rapidly fast by extreme heat.
- Extreme drought conditions. For the last two months, drought conditions has spread across the Midwest and consumed parts of nearly every state. That lack of water will definitely impact yield potential and overall health of the crop. Flory says even if a pop-up rain shower falls on scouts this week, soil moisture could still classified as very dry or dry for at least a foot.
- Endless challenges. Because rain didn’t accumulate in farmers’ rain gauges this year and thermometers measured record heat, problems prevailed in corn fields. "We’re going to see a lot of agronomic problems in the field during the Tour," Flory says. He predicts many corn years will show pollination problems, from zipper ears to tipback.
Flory shares his perspective:
This year's Tour kicked off Sunday evening in Sioux Falls, S.D. for the western leg and Columbis, Ohio for the eastern leg. In the West, Crop Tour scouts will sample fields along a route that departs from Sioux Falls, S.D., and travels through Grand Island, Neb.; Nebraska City, Neb.; Spencer, Iowa and convenes in Owatonna, Minn.
In the East, scouts will leave Columbus, Ohio, then journey through Fishers, Ind.; Bloomington, Ill.; Iowa City, Iowa and meet up with the other scouts in Owatonna, Minn.
On Friday, Pro Farmer will release its national-average yield and production estimates for both corn and soybeans. To follow coverage of the event, visit www.agweb.com
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