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Lessons from the Pro Farmer Crop Tour

January 13, 2010
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor
Even though the 2009 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour ended in August, it doesn't mean there aren't still lessons to be learned.
Pro Farmer's Chip Flory, one of the tour leaders, provided highlights of previous Crop Tours during an education session at the first-ever Ag Connect Expo.
Top lessons and trends discovered during Crop Tour:
Rain doesn't always make grain.
Management and planter tuning has improved over the years: Now, when you look down a corn row, it looks like a picket fence that could hold in a rabbit.
Ear set has becoming incredibly consistent.
Bean yields are expected to jump in the next few years due to technology, management and fewer double crops in mix.
Narrow rows don't automatically mean higher pod counts.
If you see a brown cornfield in the third week of August, something is going wrong.
If you keep your plant healthier later into the year, you're yields are going up.
Most important lesson: Start HIGH with your yield estimate, and make the crops prove it won't be a new record yield. Don't start at a 100 bu. and hope to get 150 bu./acre. Start high with your crop estimates.
For complete Ag Connect coverage, visit

You can e-mail Sara Schafer at

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