From the Rows with Brian Grete
Scouts on Day 2 of the eastern leg of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour trekked from Fishers, IN, to Bloomington, IL.
From my route through the Indian counties of Hamilton, Tipton, Clinton, Tippecanoe, Warren and Benton, we calculated a corn yield of 133.3 bu. per acre. We had a range of corn yield calcs from 80.3 bu. to 210 bu. per acre. While the corn was improved from what I had seen on Day 1, there were still only two fields that I felt represented "good" corn for the area we were in. The other seven samples showed the effects of stressful growing conditions. Of note, we saw a long stretch of hail damage in Tippecanoe Co., which further cut into yield potential.
For our Indiana soybean samples, we had an average pod count in a 3 foot by 3 foot square of 958.7, with a range from 583.9 to 1705.4. Many of the soybeans in the areas we were in had good topsoil moisture from recent rains. That will help to fill pods, but the beans we saw were done flowering.
The final numbers for Indiana showed a Tour-calculated corn yield of 113.25 bu., down 20.9% from year-ago. Soybeans in a 3x3 square came in at 1033.24, down 9.2%.
As my route moved into Illinois, conditions worsened right at the border. From our stops in the counties of Vermillion, Iriquois, Livingston, Ford, Champaign and McLean, we had an average corn yield of 82.5 bu. per acre and a 3x3 pod count of 648.6. Our corn yield calcs ranged from 7.9 to 169.2. Of our samples, two were decent and the other six were very poor. For soybeans, our range was from 403.2 to 1103.0. Keep in mind these numbers came from areas that have very good soils and are accustomed to growing top-end yields.
Much of the corn we sampled today showed not only stress to ear development and filling from the drought conditions, but also exhibited stalk problems. In many cases, there were plenty of stalks, but ears were lacking. And what ears are there are generally small and not well pollinated or filled. Crop maturity was also well advanced due to the extreme stress. While we didn't see anyone out actively chopping fields for silage, there were more than a handful of fields that we saw which had already been chopped. We also saw two corn fields that had been plowed/disced and one combine that was rolling.
For soybeans, the fields we saw were done flowering and are trying to hold onto what pods have been set. In some cases, that may be a challenge. But other routes reported better soybean conditions than what we found on our route.
Day 3 of the eastern leg of the Tour will see scouts sampling fields from Bloomington, IN, to Iowa City, IA.