Disappointment continues to be the story across the eastern tour as it moved west. Illinois samples were completed this morning and the tour moved across the Mississippi into Iowa.
To say concern is growing from scouts and tour participants would be an understatement. Results from Indiana corn yields last night were nearly 24 bu./acre below last year’s tour number. Tonight, Illinois numbers tonight came in more than 10 bu./acre below last year’s expectations.
Iowa farmer Doug Miller, says the tour is showing how bad it is out there, but he doesn’t expect drastic market reactions until harvest is underway. When that happens, Miller says he doesn’t know what reactions we’ll see.
"Until there is evidence of proof what we have out there, I’m thinking markets are going to go sideways. I don’t know how much the spec traders and the funds will be able to manipulate things, but I think this out of their control right now."
The tour garners interest across the globe and traders are closely watching the numbers as they’re released each night. The tour has even gathered interest from foreign farmers like Bruno Gilioli, a farmer from central Brazil and a 2003 graduate of Iowa State University. He is impressed by the tour results, but not in a positive way. His route took him north of Bloomington and crossing the Mississippi at Clinton, Iowa.
"The crop is under my expectations," he says. "I thought it would be better. I think we’ll be about average for the state of Iowa. I saw a lot of hail damage. It tore the leaves apart and the top of the soybeans are gone."
Soybeans are where the story is, says Miller. He says the interest thus far have has been on the corn crop, but he’s starting to watch soybeans and his concern about the soybean crop is growing.
Dryness was Miller’s concerns throughout Illinois. Pod counts on his route were around 1,000 pods in a 3’x3’ area. If rain doesn’t come in the next week, that number will likely go lower, he says.
"If they don’t get a rain in Illinois in the next week, they’ll lose 30% of their beans. We had a lot of pods that weren’t filling. They either didn’t have a bean or they weren’t filling yet. We ran into some nice beans that were nice beans. There were lots of pods and lots of beans around Bloomington. Those were our best samples for both corn and beans."
And the corn samples Miller gathered were sporadic at best. But none were great on his route that took him south of Bloomington, to Burlington, Iowa, and north to Iowa City.
"In Logan Count y we took samples that were at 73 bu./acre and the other one in the same county was 177 bu./acre," Miller says. "That was just 15 miles apart. The reason for the 73 was a pollination issue."
In the field with the 73 bu./acre, he says about 40% of the stalks were absent of ears, which was surprising based on what he saw in the end rows. "You’d have never guessed it from the road. On the ends the ears 6-7 inches long, but on the inside they were 2-3 inches long. I think it was just too dry during pollination. Everything we rated today in Iowa and Illinois, we rated as a one."
Following the U.S. harvest, the focus will turn to South America. They will like increase acres for both corn and soybeans. Earlier in the week, Gilioli was unsure how acres would come out in Brazil. Now, he’s fairly confident Brazil will increase acreage of both crop. For his farm, he now knows exactly what he’ll do.
"I’ll plant more winter corn this year. I’ll probably grow 12% more corn this year. I grew 1,000 hectare (2,500 acres) and I think I’ll probably grow 12% this year."
On corn, he generally grows 190 bushel corn. On soybeans his average is 63 bushels.