Next week, scout teams will travel a collective 28,000 miles through the Midwest to pull 1,100 corn and 1,100 soybean samples, Pro Farmer editor Chip Flory says. The goal isn’t to project yields for individual fields but rather to look into the future as if the entire region were one giant field.
"It’s always interesting to see what we learn and how things change from year to year," Flory tells Pam Fretwell of Farm Journal Radio. "One of the things that’s going to be, I think, real eye-opening to a lot of the guys on the eastern leg of the tour is they’re going to be coming across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois. Everything’s going to be looking great—then, when they get into Iowa and north of Cedar Rapids, start seeing how many acres didn’t get planted in Iowa."
Click the play button below for Flory’s complete rundown of the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour:
In its 21st year, the Pro Farm Midwest Crop Tour begins Aug. 19 and wraps up Aug. 22. Flory will lead the Western Leg beginning in Sioux Falls, S.D., and moving through Nebraska and Iowa before finishing in Rochester, Minn. Pro Farmer managing editor Brian Grete will lead the Eastern Leg beginning in Columbus, Ohio, and moving through Indiana, Illinois and Iowa before meeting up in Minnesota.
Scouts drive the same routes from year to year, Flory says, though scout teams don’t stop at the same fields. That’s in an effort to prevent pre-tour bias from entering the picture. In all, teams will pass through about 70% of the corn and bean production area over course of tour.
Figures and notes from scout teams are then compiled and analyzed before publication.
"All that data flows back through the Pro Farmer office here in Cedar Falls," Flory says.