From the intern desk…
What a great start to the tour! After finishing up day one on the Western tour, all I can say is whoo! Day one is done! This day really gets everyone back in the groove of scouting and after getting all the glitches worked out, the scouts plan on making a big entrance into the next day of the tour as we travel to Nebraska City. But, as we all know, even though most of you are keeping up with the tour on Twitter, Facebook, AgWeb, ProFarmer.com, Flickr, messenger pigeons, or whatever way you like to keep up-to-date with the on-goings, some of you still didn't have the chance to sit in on the meeting in Grand Island tonight. So, to help everyone out, here is a report on some of the findings from the scouts that traveled from South Dakota to Nebraska today.
Since we began in South Dakota this morning, we can start by saying that I think everyone was in a good mood after passing through the SE corner of the state. Most scouts had the opportunity to lift their spirits and see a crop that they haven't seen in a year or even longer. There were many scouts that commented on the healthiness of the crop that they saw today. The crop was a dark green and pretty consistent throughout most of the fields that were scouted. Not a lot of insect or disease damage was touched on during the meetings. Although it's a late crop, this crop still has plenty of potential if they see timely rains and receive a few more GDUs to finish out some of the fields that were in dough, milk and even some really late blistering corn. Scouts were seeing ranges between 100 bu. all the way to just over 200 and the final number that was released for S.D. was 161.75.
As the scouts moved south, so did the yield estimates. The scouts moved into the Northeast portion of the state of Nebraska to finish up the second half of their day and although scouts were not saying it was the worst crop they have seen on the tour before, it still didn't show the bin-busting yields like they have seen in the past. Irrigation systems were still running in many areas and from the car, scouts thought this crop looked incredible and would be considered a record year if we were collecting ears from the outside rows. But on this tour we love to challenge the scouts and make them get a little dirt on their shoes and have them walk past the headlands and then 35 paces into the field before they take the sample. And here is where the crop differs from the outside rows-with the variation in planting depth, row spacing, having to plant in wetter soil than growers preferred, and other aspects during planting, this caused a difference in what scouts saw even 50 rows apart in some fields. The fields started to get choppy and some scouts thought there could be 180 bu. corn sitting in one area of a field and a couple paces over, they could see 40 bushels. Somewhat similar to what we saw last year in this area (on dry ground) but for some completely different reasons. Ranges of yield were coming in anywhere from 65 bu. to over 190 on some irrigated ground. Once again, according to the scouts, a consistent comment that was coming up- it looks like an average crop.
As we move into the second day of Nebraska on the Western leg, we have already been hearing some comments from the night meeting about what we will be seeing on our way through the day. They expect to see more "average Nebraska corn" in the southeast part of the state, but we've been warned throughout the week that day 2 of the Tour often reverses what we see on day 1 for Nebraska. That better be the case this year, or many scouts will be disappointed in the Nebraska corn crop this year.