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Stellar Corn Yields Predicted for South Dakota

August 20, 2013
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor
South Dakota Crop Tour
Crop scouts Katie Micik and Lawrence Landsteiner check a corn yield estimate in South Dakota.   

Based on more than 60 samples in South Dakota, corn yields look to be the higher than the three-year average on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.

While last year was definitely a rare occurrence due to the record drought, but it’s still nice to be able to say corn yields will more than double this year (over 2012) in South Dakota.

Lawrence Landsteiner, a farmer from Minnesota Lake, Minn., has attended 12 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tours. He says today, he saw some of the best crops he’s ever seen in South Dakota. "There’s just no major stress on this crop," he says.

After 60 corn samples in South Dakota, scouts on the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour found an expected average corn yield of 161.75 bu./acre. In 2012, the South Dakota corn yield estimate was 74.25 bu./acre and the three-year average for the state is 119.65 bu./acre.

South Dakota ranks sixth in the country for corn production. As of Aug. 1, USDA forecasts the 2013 South Dakota corn crop to average 138 bu./acre.

Chip Flory, Pro Farmer editor and western tour director, says the South Dakota corn crop is obviously better than average. But, it is still behind.

"In terms of maturity, the South Dakota corn crop is in late milk or very early dough stage," he says. "This corn crop will need every bit of September, and it would be nice to get 10 days of October before the first frost. We have a bit of a race going on."

Listen to Flory's audio report:

For soybeans, scouts found an average of 1,016.7 pods in a three-foot by three-foot square. In 2012, the pod count in a 3-foot by 3-foot square was 584.93 and the three-year average is 984.62. South Dakota ranks seventh in the country for soybean production. USDA’s forecast for soybean yields is 36 bu./acre. (On the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, soybean yield is not estimated.)

Landsteiner says if the soybeans have the whole month of September to mature, they’ll do OK.

Another crop scout, Tim Chapman, of Toyota Tsusho America, agrees. "Blooming is over with in most of the state," he says. "We just need time for this crop to fill out."

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