From the Rows with Brian Grete
Scouts on Day 3 of the eastern leg of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour pulled samples from Bloomington, IL, to Iowa City, Iowa.
From my route through the Illinois counties of McLean, Woodford, Tazewell, Peoria, Stark, Marshall and Bureau, we had an average corn yield calculation of 137.3 bu. per acre. Our range was from 72.7 bu. to 209.5 bu. per acre. Standability and stalk quality were the primary issues we saw outside of moisture stress. Interestingly, our highest and second lowest yield calcs were pulled from fields only 15 miles apart. In talking with a local farmer who was starting to combine a field just east of the second of those samples, several spotty rains came through and caught some areas, while others not far away were missed -- and it showed.
My route had an average soybean pod count in a 3x3 square of 892, with a range of 518 to 2361. Many of the bean plants had very few pods on the lower portion of the plant, which is a theme we've seen through most areas this week. While there was less weed pressure than in Ohio and Indiana, the soybean pod counts just simply weren't there. And with no blooms on plants, the crop must now work to maximize what yield potential is there -- in some cases work to keep pods from aborting and losing yield potential.
For the state of Illinois, the Tour corn yield came in at 121.6 bu. per acre, down 22% from the 2011 Tour average. Soybean pod counts in a 3x3 square were 944.05, down 21.1% from year-ago. It was simply a case of too much heat and not enough rain in Illinois this summer.
When we crossed into eastern Iowa, crops on my route improved somewhat. But results were far from what producers hoped for when seeds were sown in the spring. Our route had and average corn yield of 139.9 bu. per acre, with a low of 100 bu. and a high of 167.4 bu. per acre. Plant health was generally better, but lodging from wind damage was an issue in several of the fields. That will make it difficult for all of the yield potential to be realized come harvest.
For eastern Iowa soybeans, my route's average 3x3 pod count was 1016.5. Like corn, lodging was an issue. We saw no soybean fields on our route that had blooms. The crop must try to maximize what yield potential is there.
Day 4 of the eastern leg of the Tour will see scouts sampling fields from Iowa City, IA, to Owatonna, MN, where we will meet up with scouts from the western leg of the Tour.