From the Rows - Chip Flory - Western Tour Day 3WW
Hey everybody! I've had a great night in Spencer, Iowa! The crowd was huge at the Clay Co. Fair Grounds and everybody enjoyed a crazy-good feed at the event center and the folks from DuPont Pioneer deserve a big-time thank-you for bringing a big crowd in for the third night of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.
I'll admit, it's getting late in the tour and I'm ready to shorten-up my comments about what we're seeing on the Tour. Fortunately, what we saw on today's trek through western Iowa doesn't take a lot of words to sum up.
Disease pressure is light and so is the pressure from the bugs in both the corn and soybean crops in western Iowa. And because we had mud on our boots for most of the day on the route that we ran, I can't say that moisture is a problem. That is not to say the crop in western Iowa was never stressed after a 30-day rain-free stretch during the important kernel-fill period, but it appears that temps were cool enough to allow the corn crop to build a yield and hold on to it long enough. The trick for the corn crop we saw today will be for it to stand long enough for the combine to show up! The corn crop in western Iowa remains vulnerable to a late-summer wind storm that could leave several bushels on the ground instead of in the hopper.
The average yield in crop district 7 (SW) was 180.9, up 11.5% from last year's Tour. It was good in the SW corner of Iowa, even in the rolling hills where scouts could "road scout" and see deep into fields.
In district 4 (WC) the average yield was 180, up about 5.5% from last year and scouts reported very little disease and instect pressure on the corn crop. Consistant yield samples were pulled throughout the whole district. And not only that, scouts consistently commented on how green the corn crop, the bean crop and the road ditches were in west central Iowa. That may seem like a "trivial" observation, but when the road ditches are green in western Iowa in the third week of August, odds are the corn and soybean crops are going to be in good condition.
District 1 (NW) the average yield was 177.5, up 1% from last year. Northwest Iowa is a consistent producer and proved it again this year even when some counties are "blowing out the top" on yield potential on corn.
I realize that this is getting redundant, but thats what the western Iowa corn crop looks like. It's good. Disease pressure is light, bug pressure is light and it got a shot of moisture today that is going to help it finish and fill out kernels.
On soybeans, district 7(SW) the average 3'x3' pod count was 1166, up 4.8% from last year; IA4 (WC) was 1225, up 20%; IA1(NW) was up 27% at 1091. The most imporant thing was when we sampled bean fields we got mud on our boots. This late shot of moisture is going to help the bean crop realize the potential we measured in western Iowa today. The beans will need to work to finish but all in all, is a good bean crop.
After an impressive day of scouting we can see the motivation in the scouts to bring the most accurate picture possible is giving us a more indepth look at this year's corn and soybean crops. Every year I am more impressed by the "tanasity" scouts bring to the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.
Tomorrow we are traveling from Spencer to Rochester, MN, to meet up with the Eastern leg. So far, I've seen no let down on the Western scouts- they are out to kick butt and take names on the 2014 Tour! I can't wait to get the final sample of the 2014 Tour and to discover just how big the 2014 corn crop really is.