Minnesota data from the 2011 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour released last night shows that hot and dry weather during key growing periods this summer will keep yields below year-ago levels as well as the three-year average.
"I saw a crack in one field so big that if I dropped my cell phone down in it, I’d never see it again," says western Tour scout Marty Tegtmeier, a farmer from Sumner, Iowa.
On his route, he estimated corn yields in the range of 180 bu./acre, a vast improvement from what he saw in western Iowa the day before. Still, he says his estimate represented just one route, and even on it yields were highly variable. Within the same county in south central Minnesota, one field was estimated with a yield potential of only 120 bu./acre, while another yield came in at 270 bu./acre, the highest-yielding field of the day.
Taken as a whole, Minnesota average yields came in at 175.93 bu./acre, more than a 5% reduction from a year ago. The three-year Pro Farmer Minnesota average is 183.04 bu./acre. This year’s high was a yield potential of 181.71 bu./acre in west central Minnesota, with a low of 172.85 bu./acre in the southwest section of the state.
For 2010, Minnesota corn yields were 177 bu./acre statewide and 174 bu./acre in 2009, according to USDA.
Minnesota soybeans have problems too. "I’m kind of disappointed in beans today," says scout Denny Rollenhagen, a producer from Wells, Minn. "They have a long way to go." And that means a long fall without frost, plus some additional rains.
Pro Farmer’s crop estimates will be available at 1:30 p.m. CDT, Friday, Aug. 26.
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