The third day of the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour concluded with the release of official results from Illinois and western Iowa. Illinois samples resulted in an average corn yield of 170.48 bu. per acre and an average soybean pod count of 1,115.97 in a 3'x'3 square. Results from western Iowa were also released, which included crop districts 1, 4 and 7. Final Iowa results will be released tonight, as well as results from Minnesota as both legs of the tour travel to Rochester, Minnesota.
The eastern leg traced a route from Bloomington, Illinois, to Iowa City, Iowa, and found a great deal of variability in the Illinois corn crop and more soybeans in need of rain.
Pro Farmer Senior Market Analyst and eastern Tour Director Brian Grete noted, "The Illinois corn yield came in 40.2% above year-ago and 15.3% above the three-year Tour average. Based on my route and reports from the other routes, variability was the extreme in the Illinois corn crop, not only from field to field, but within fields. The high variability alone will make it hard to build a big yield, in my opinion."
Illinois soybean pod counts are up 18.2% from year-ago, but 2.9% below the three-year Crop Tour average.
Eastern Tour Consultant Mark Bernard said, "In the soybeans, we saw relatively light disease and insect pressure. Some routes noted Sudden Death Syndrome but none was discovered on our route. This is a positive as the crop begins to struggle to maintain the yield potential it has left with these extremely dry soil conditions to end on a positive note."
The western leg followed a route through Western Iowa where scouts observed an Iowa corn crop that failed to impress.
Western Tour Leader and Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory commented, "The 2013 corn crop is good in western Iowa, but I wouldn't call it better than average. Problems with the 2013 corn crop date back to when the seed was put in the ground. Uneven plant spacing is just one symptom of the fast planting pace. Another is the uneven ear set on stalks. If everything is working right in a corn field, the ears will all be set at about at the same level on corn plants. This year, there is no consistency to the ear set on stalks."
The Iowa soybean crop is behind the rest of the areas surveyed so far and lacks maturity due to late plantings and the current dry conditions.
Western Tour Consultant Jason Franck said, "Moisture stress was evident in every field. All day long I was in an area where we found cracks in the soil and some were very large. The soybean pods were trending a little lower from the start. I started the Tour with pod counts a little disappointing and today was much more of the same, if not worse! The next 10 days for this soybean crop could be made or broken with the weather that lies ahead."
Today, Tour scouts on the eastern leg will begin their day in Iowa City, Iowa, and the western leg of the Tour will depart from Spencer, Iowa. Both will head north to Rochester, Minnesota, where the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour will end. Final results from Iowa and Minnesota will be released tonight.