2009 Crop Tour winds down. As our scouts arrived in Austin, Minnesota, it brought to a close the 2009 version of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. The scouts on the eastern leg of the Tour sampled today from Iowa City up through the eastern portion of Iowa (mostly east of I-35) and spent the day dodging rain showers -- some of them heavy at times.
"If it's raining, must be time for a sample." That observation came from veteran Tour scout Andy Vance who I had the pleasure of having in the car today. Along with first-timer Dan Siebert from Ohio (who says he'll be back again) we pulled samples in and out of the rain showers which fell over northern Iowa seemingly most of the afternoon on and off. They never lasted long, but the amount of mud the generated certainly did!
Eastern Iowa's corn crop continued to display the qualities that it showed as we crossed over from Illinois on Wednesday. While the crop is running behind, it has some impressive yield potential. However, some fields in areas which received hail damage were clearly not going to perform like their undamaged counterparts. But several fields on the route I followed up through eastern Iowa had yield potential of more than 200 bushels per acre.
Our final Iowa corn yield: 180.93 bu. per acre, up 7.5% compared to year-ago on the Tour.
On soybeans, pod counts were again variable as scouts worked their way toward Minnesota. Unlike the fields that we sampled in Ohio, Indiana and eastern Illinois, and the presence of diseases like white mold and mostly SDS were evident on more than a few stops.
Our final Iowa soybean pod count: 1197.08, up 9.7% from year-ag and above the three-year average.
Bottom line: The 2009 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour is now history and without our cadre of scouts who give up basically a week of their time to go through over one thousand corn and soybean fields each to generate the data that we've released each evening. My personal thanks goes out to each of them.