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From the Rows -- Brian Grete -- Day 4

August 24, 2012
By: Brian Grete, Pro Farmer Editor

From the Rows with Brian Grete

Scouts on Day 4 of the eastern leg of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour pulled samples from Iowa City, Iowa, to Owatonna, Minnesota.

From my route today through the Iowa counties of, Iowa, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Floyd, Cerro Gordo and Worth, we saw high variability in corn yields. The low of the day was in Worth County, a zero, and we had a high of 202.5. Overall, corn yields on our route were disappointing, with only two yield calcs which I would consider strong. In fact, if you added the first three samples together, they didn't equal what any one of those producers would have hoped for when seed went into the ground in the spring.

Soybean pod counts were all over the board on my route today. While we got very good pod counts in some of the fields, they weren't consistently strong. As was the case throughout our samples on the eastern leg of the Tour, there were very few pods in the bottom six inches of the plant. In most cases, the soybeans seemed to withstand drought conditions better than corn. But ironically, our lowest soybean pod count of the day came at the same stop as our highest corn yield.

As a whole, I was disappointed in the corn yield calcs and soybean pod counts on my route through eastern Iowa today. Given the advanced maturity of the corn crop and lack of blooms on soybeans, there's no new yield potential and crops must work to hold onto what yield potential is out there.

When all of the Iowa numbers -- eastern and western routes combined -- were added up, we came up with a corn yield of 137.27 bu., down 16.4%, and a soybean pod count of 999.8, down 18.2%.

In my many radio and television interviews this week I was repeatedly asked if there was anything shocking I saw on the eastern leg of Tour. While I was fully expecting severely damaged crops, it was still breathtaking to walk into some of the fields and come out with the results which were all too common this week. The humbling aspect of the week was the stark reminder that severe weather conditions such as seen this year can trump production management, technology and soil types.

I would be remiss without again thanking all of my hard-working scouts on the eastern leg of Crop Tour. I know I've repeatedly said it throughout the week -- we can't do what we do on Tour without your tremendous and tireless efforts. Many thanks and I hope to see you again next year!

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