We arrived late Sunday night in Sioux Falls, S.D., just in time for the meeting with all of the other Tour participants. With the flooding of the Missouri River near Omaha, we had to make several detours, which probably added an hour to our drive. The river looks like it has come down maybe a foot, but it is still very high.
We left Sioux Falls around 6:30 Monday morning and made a direct beeline to Sioux City, Iowa, and crossed over the Missouri River there. We took a sample in Dakota County which was in the 135 range and then moved into Dixon, where we saw extensive hail damage from the storm of last Thursday. Talking to some folks at the local convenience store, we noted that the storm took out a swath of about 5 miles by 100 miles and I know we saw about 25 square miles of this. You would look at a bean field and all you saw was some light green stalks with no leaves or pods on them as far as you could see in the field.
We then motored another 30 miles or so west, turned south for about 15 miles and then came back due east for about 40 miles. In each county, we took at least one sample. In about the fourth county, we got our first irrigated field sample, and that ended up the best of the day, at 230 bu.
Bean samples were generally in the good range. However, there were several areas that we noted were extremely dry and if they do not get rain, the beans are in trouble.
We noted many areas where the stalks had been knocked over due to either wind or hail or both, and all the scouts noted hail damage in many of the fields.
Throwing out the high irrigated sample, our yield estimates ranged from a low of 102 to about 175, and, compared to last year, our yields were down. However, it appears that the call for South Dakota and Ohio is very much in line with the USDA estimates. Tomorrow, we will be finished with Nebraska and will have a better idea where we are at.
I tried to post during the drive, but the cell service in Nebraska on our route was spotty at best and I could not get enough service to get my IPad to post to the site, so I will have to write a nightly recap of the trip.
However, I am tweeting to Twitter (say that fast five times in a row) throughout the day at @farmcpa, so please follow me there.