From the Rows - Jason Franck - Western Tour Day 2
A Tale of Two Days
I've titled day two of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, "A Tale of Two Days." I was anxious as we started to see if today could start sampling fields to see if we would start as well as we ended Day 1. When starting in irrigation country, how much better could the day be?
We took off heading west on I-80 to Kearney and then headed south to Highway 6, which shot us most of the way into Nebraska City.
As we traveled our routes today, corn yields started off strong. On Day 1, irrigated corn yields were off about 20 bu. per acre from normal. But this didn't seem to be the case on day two. Our first four samples averaged over 200 bu. per acre. And considering the tough environment we waded through on day one, southeast Nebraska was a dream.
With the friends from Ag Web following, we did identify some extensive insect damage heading into the fields, but this was quickly erased once we entered irrigated fields.
As the day went on, fewer fields were irrigated and with the lack of irrigation came lower yield potential. But, if you look at the title, this is where I was more impressed. Even though corn plants had shut down, consistency was much better within the fields and there was a much better ear:stalk ratio than we say on the first day of the Tour.
Having said that, one thing I did struggle with on the dryland ground was"Why haven't more fields been harvested considering they are at black layer?"
Well I got my answer by meeting a local grower. I posed this question to him, and he responded, "The moisture range within the fields are from 12% to 25% and I'm done spending money on this crop."
I can sympathize with that decision. However, one thing I noticed in those fields was that each and every one of these fields had stalks that were weak and the nodes we stringy and necrotic. If you're wondering what to do with your dryland corn crop in Nebraska, just remember this: Corn through the combine and in the bin is worth more than it is if it's lying flat in the field.
Soybeans (on my route) seemed to be remarkably good all day. Obviously the irrigated soybeans were solid, but the dryland beans proved to be much better than we saw yesterday. One big advantage to the soybeans on day two was the fact that very little disease was present. Additionally, most plants that we sampled had plump seeds in them and have the potential to finish well under the right environment.
Keep in mind though, this was my route on the tour and after speaking with scouts on other routes, they feel the pod counts still need improvement.
Well, tomorrow is a new day and a new state. Let's see if Iowa can provide us with an unexpected flavor for day three!