Even within the same county, yields estimates are extremely varied through South Dakota.
The 44 scouts that left Sioux Falls, S.D., this morning as part of the 2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour got wet, but only because of dew. While parts of the areas around Sioux Falls have received rain recently, the odds are unlikely it will actually help the state’s corn crop.
"A lot of fields are just running out of water," says Ken Eckhart, a farmer from Minnesota Lake, Minn. Lack of rain has caused major problems and extreme variability for the South Dakota corn crop, he says.
Eckhart’s group made six stops in South Dakota. Two corn samples from Lincoln County perfectly showed the variability in this year’s crop.
Field 1: A lot of ears were missing in this corn field. The ones we found were very small with poor pollination. Yield estimate for this field was 39.8 bu./acre.
Field 2: The majority of this field was harvested for silage. Yet, what was left looked to have above-average yield potential. Yield estimate came in at 151.8 bu./acre.
After the six stops, the car’s average corn yield estimate is slightly below 100 bu./acre. In South Dakota last year, the state average was 132 bu./acre. In 2010, it was 135 bu./acre.
Scouts are traveling nine routes through southeastern South Dakota and parts of Nebraska today. They will convene in Grand Island, Neb., to share yield estimates for South Dakota and parts of Nebraska.