Day one of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour is in the books and overall the Ohio crop is, well, OK, many scouts reported. Comparing the two crops was particularly difficult because the 2009 crop was extremely delayed due to weather.
"We’re seeing a crop that is a lot further along than we’ve seen the last two years in Ohio on corn, and probably beans too," says East Tour Director Roger Bernard. "I was in one soybean field this year that just had a few blooms. Most were in late dough to dent stage for corn this year. That was the exception last year."
Bernard says the most common problems were due to heat issues and pollination problems throughout the summer. Ear tip back was the most common.
While most scouts were somewhat negative on the tour results, the numbers still came in above 2009 for both corn and soybeans. (Scroll down for the full Ohio tour results.)
Lou Arens, a veteran scout and commodity broker with PCI Advisory Services in northeast Iowa, was somewhat surprised by the samples he pulled throughout the day. "We saw a lot of 160 bu./acre for corn, but we had one over 200. The beans were average, but they looked good from the road. Once we got into the field, we saw they looked a lot better than they were. This crop was, capital WAS, huge, but it’s going. Everything is leached out. The nitrogen is gone. Nitrogen and tip back.
There is a mix of scouts on the trip that range from farmers to financial analysts and journalists from major wire services across the country. Every group includes at least one farmer scout who is a veteran on the tour, which ensure consistent data and perspective from tours past.
"In the past, Ohio hasn’t been that good to start," says Doug Miller, an Iowa farmer and 4th year crop scout. Miller travelled the same route last year that went north from Columbus and straight west into Indiana.
"The corn was better last year because it was further behind. It’s hard to compare though, because we were looking at corn that was denting this year. Last year, the corn was still in milk stage and the beans hadn’t put pods on yet," he says.
The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour is the first sampling to judge ear counts and kernel counts on a tour. It’s still a crap shoot to tell how much the crop will develop, so the scouts are looking closely at crop development and pollination quality, which may be lacking in some areas.
Pat Solon, a farmer from Streator, Ill., who travelled with Miller believes his route is below par. "The corn is going to be disappointing up there. There was lots of tip back and pollination issues. There’s just been too much heat."
Ohio 2010 Corn Yields