The final day of the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour concluded with the release of official results from Iowa and Minnesota. Iowa samples resulted in an average corn yield of 171.94 bu. per acre and an average soybean pod count of 927.30 in a 3'x'3 square. Minnesota samples resulted in an average corn yield of 181.09 bu. Per acre and an average soybean pod count of 869.42 in a 3'x'3 square.
The eastern leg traced a route from Iowa City, Iowa, to Rochester, Minnesota, and found more variability and inconsistency from field to field and within individual fields.
Pro Farmer Senior Market Analyst and eastern Tour Director Brian Grete noted, "The Iowa corn yield came in 25.3% above year-ago and 9.5% above the 3-year Tour average. The sample we pulled from Howard County, Iowa, was the highest I have ever pulled on Crop Tour. But the extreme variability we saw in Illinois continued into Iowa."
Iowa soybean pod counts were down 7.3% from year-ago and 22.1% lower than the three-year Tour average due to weather-related planting delays.
Eastern Tour Consultant Mark Bernard said, "All in all, the Iowa crop on our route lived up to the prior billing. It wasn’t supposed to be the best crop ever and it certainly wasn’t. The soybean pod counts were down and tell the tale not of a soybean crop that could’ve been, but one that never was on either side of the border. Building snowmen on May 2 and not being able to plant after May 16 until after June 1 severely compromised the potential of both crops."
The western leg followed a route from Spencer, Iowa, to Rochester, Minnesota, where scouts observed areas hit hard by spring weather, late planting and nitrogen deficiency.
Western Tour Leader and Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory commented, "Conditions on the spots we sampled today were generally drier than normal. With the slow development of the corn crop, it's really difficult to imagine the fields we sampled will average as good as what we thought we saw. The corn crop needs until at least Oct. 1 to be sure most of the crop will reach maturity."
The Iowa and Minnesota soybean crops are behind the rest of the areas surveyed so far and lack maturity due to late plantings and the current dry conditions.
Western Tour Consultant Jason Franck said, "Along this route the first thing I noticed was how much nitrogen deficiency there was from the road and present in the field. This did not change all day. On par with yesterday, we saw many soybean fields that were lower on pod counts. One positive observation with my route today was seeing more soybeans within the clusters rather than just two on every node like yesterday."
Pro Farmer's Brian Grete adds, "I'd like to thank all of the scouts on this year's Crop Tour for all of their hard work over the past three days. I've said it repeatedly, but we couldn't do Tour if it wasn't for all of your hard work and dedication. Your countless hours of crop scouting this week are greatly appreciated."