Earlier this month I conducted my second annual Dodge County Crop Tech Cafe Yield Tour. The goal of this tour is to increase awareness of late-season crop conditions, understand the impact of agronomic issues we had during the growing season, and forecast expected yields during harvest. This preharvest tour is conducted during the first week of September and includes stopping at 17 corn and 17 soybean fields along a determined route in Dodge County (picture above). Last year during this tour my estimates ended up being within 2 bushels per acre of the final average yield according to USDA-NASS surveys for both corn and soybeans. We will have to wait until February to see how close I am for 2016.
Corn yield estimate
The Dodge County 2016 corn preharvest yield estimate was 184 bu/ac, which is down 13 bushels per acre from a year ago. Irrigated and dryland yields averaged 212 and 167 bushels per acre respectively. Irrigated yields were 3 bushels per acre higher while dryland was 21 bushels per acre short of 2015. This was largely driven by having 2,200 fewer ears per acre compared to last year. Much of this reduction came from seedling dampening off in May and then the green snap from the July 5 storm. Fortunately we managed to put more rows of kernels on the ears early this season with an average of 17.0 rows, compared to last year’s 15.7 rows of kernels. Ear length was similar to a year ago. Given the extra heat units in June and portions of July, the corn averaged 3/4 milk line versus 1/3 milk line in 2015.
Soybean yield estimate
The 2016 soybean preharvest yield estimate was 62 bushels per acre for the county, up 4 bushels per acre from a year ago. Irrigated and dryland soybean yields were 70 and 57 bushels per acre respectively. Compared to last year, beans were found to have more pods. The county average was up nearly 100 pods per 1/10,000 of an acre from 2015, averaging 602. However, yield estimates were dampened by slightly smaller seed size and fewer seeds per pod. Maturity was only slightly ahead of 2015 and the amount of lodging was similar to a year ago.
Get more details about the tour
To read the full report including data from all 34 fields and to learn about the methods used during the tour that include how-to videos, please visit the 2016 Dodge County Crop Tech Cafe Yield Tour. Know your crop, know your tech, know your bottom line at Crop Tech Cafe.