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From the Editor

RSS By: Brian Grete, Pro Farmer

Pro Farmer Editor Brian Grete takes time to talk with Pro Farmer Members about some of the key issues in each week's Pro Farmer newsletter.

'In the 52 years that I have planted...'

Jul 06, 2012

Chip Flory

From The Editor

July 6, 2012

Hello Pro Farmer Members!

It's all about trying to figure out just how low the national average corn yield will fall this year. Oh... and figuring out just the corn market will respond to declining yield expectations. It's well documented how the 1988 drought rally fizzled out the day after Independence Day... and the 2012 drought rally also has that potential after today's trade failed to take out yesterday's highs.

Over the next week, we'll be trying to figure out just how well about 40% to 45% of the U.S. corn crop has pollinated. Pictures of this year's crop show unbelievable differences in crop conditions from the northwestern to the southeastern Corn Belt. But one thing is fairly uniform across the Corn Belt... HEAT! Pollinating corn plants don't like heat. How long silks remain receptive to pollen and how long pollen remains viable is shortened significantly in extreme heat, so it will be time to start peeling back some husks and counting kernels to see how well it has pollinated.

Saybrook, Illinois, Pro Farmer Member Byron Jones is a regular contributor to our Crop Tour newsletter and is the first Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour Master Scout. He filed a crop update with us this morning. Saybrook is in McLean Co., (C) Illinois:

"Six weeks with only 0.6 inch of rain. Right now, we're dealing with a half-inch (or more) of evaporation each day. Sunny, very hot days (15 to 20 degrees above-normal temperatures) will change crop ratings drastically.

"Corn that was planted before April 8 is pollinating with very high temperatures of 75 degrees at night and 95 to 102 in the daytime. It still remains to be seen how ears will retain pollinated kernels.

"For the first time in 52 crops that I have planted, corn plants were shedding green leaves for lack of plant moisture. There were not any fired or dry leaves on the plants until the last three days. Many fields on lighter soil have shrunk to half the height of two weeks ago. Tassels on some varieties are bending over and pointing down.

"The rating on July 6 is only 3 [1 = worst-ever yield potential; 5 = yield potential equal to five-year average; 10 = best-ever yield potential] and is descending rapidly.

"My Son George says Crop Tour scouts will have to dodge the combines... and sometimes a disc."

"Soybeans have stopped growing. They have flowered to the top node, 11 nodes on soybeans planted April 23 and 7 nodes on no-till soybeans planted May 19. Little spots that were replanted deeper on May 30 have fallen over during the day.

"The soybeans planted in April (3.9 maturity) are now turning two nodes over during the afternoon.

"We are short 12 inches of rain and losing a half-inch to evaporation per day. Thus, I can only rate the soybeans at a 3 and descending."

Thanks, Byron... wish conditions were better for you -- and for everybody, for that matter.

That's it for now...

... pray for rain and cooler temps!

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