Variability continues to be the story of the Eastern swing of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. Indiana was completed today as the tour entered eastern Illinois and scouts overall were disappointed with the results. Those let downs in the yield are starting to lead scouts to question the overall size of this year’s crop.
Indiana numbers for the tour came in at 167.06. The 2011 tour shows yields at 143.10 bu/acre.
What started as sporadic yields in eastern Indiana on Monday turned into generally poor growing conditions on the western part of the state, says Brian Grete, eastern tour director and Pro Farmer Sr. Market Analyst.
"I didn’t see as much variability today as I did yesterday. The story today was the stress. While the variable yields may be there, I saw a lot more dryness, ears dropping. Almost every field we got into showed some variability of stress. Overall, today I was a little disappointed by today’s yields."
Grete says the crop in Ohio on Monday was very immature, he says. There is potential for a very good crop, but it will take rain and generally good temperatures to bring the crop to the potential it exhibits currently. Indiana was mostly further along in its development, but the crop deteriorated as the tour moved west.
"Yields in the east were a little better yesterday, but they weren’t grand. It was nothing to write home about," he says.
Waseca, Minn., farmer Richard Guse is a little more critical of the crop he’s seen so far on the tour.
"Bad. The area we were in, the Illinois average was 143. A lot of stock rot. Our first four stops in Illinois averaged 106 bu./acre. Our pod counts on soybeans were really low. We were around 900 in Indiana. In Illinois we were even lower, around 850 I think."
Scouts are beginning to question the size of this year’s crop.
"Back in August I felt we would have a 12.2 bil. bu. crop," Guse says. "I’m more confident there’s more potential to the downside from 12.2. The first Wednesday in August I started seeing the tip back in our field. The last Wednesday in July I thought we’d average around 200 bu./acre. But in one week, I figure we lost 40 bu./acre for corn."
Adam Tepper, an analyst with the Arlon Group, an agriculture investment company, says "I’m hearing 147.9 to 156. I think we’ll hit below the middle range of that right now, but I also believe there’s a definite downward bias. We look at our proprietary weather models and take anecdotal information into account. Yields have to come down, based on what we saw in Indiana today."