Western Tour Report, Day 3 -- Man-o-Man is it a good crop out west!
Note: Terry and Chip traveled together through southern Minnesota today, so we'll combine our comments into one for tonight's report.
For the first time on this year's Crop Tour, we ran into some variability. Western Iowa had it's "holes" in the corn crop, but it was a solid corn crop from south to north. Nebraska... well, Nebraska really didn't have many holes. South Dakota is a maturity issue -- that crop has some work to do to get to the finish line before Jack Frost arrives.
And then there's Minnesota. Minnesota has it's holes, has some crop that has to hustle to get to the finish line before the growing season comes to an end and it has some areas where it's really hard to find anything wrong with the crop. In other words, the Minnesota corn crop was everything the other three states on the western leg of the 2009 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour had. But when it was all wrapped up today, the Crop Tour is pointing the Minnesota crop to a very good yield... probably better than the 167 bu. per acre estimated by USDA on Aug. 1.
Here's why I say that -- USDA's Aug. 1 estimate was up 1.8% from last year's final yield peg of 164 bu. per acre... the Crop Tour corn yield was up 3.9% from last year's Tour results. That means we "found" a few more bushels than did USDA compared to year-ago.
The Crop Tour yield for Minnesota was 185.3 bu. per acre. Now... before that shakes you up too much, the Crop Tour consistently measured the crop in Minnesota too big. In fact, on average since 2001, we've measured the crop 12.38 bu. too high. The reason is because we don't get into traditionally lower-yielding areas in central and even northern Minnesota.
Here's the quick summary of what we saw in Minnesota, from west to east --