From the Rows - Chip Flory - Western Tour Day 3WW
Wow... I just scanned my comments from last year... and I was more that a little upset last year at some of the commentary that was done around the Tour... but that was only because they didn't understand what we do on Tour. This year, that's not the case. It seems like most of the tour-followers are getting it figured out!
First things first, thanks to the scouts on the western leg of the Tour. You're pulling a record amount of samples and "numbers count" on a tour like this. We had a great crowd in Spencer, IA, tonight and we're looking forward to a big crowd again in Rochester on Thursday night.
On the western leg of the Tour we only provide the final results from crop districts 7 (SW), 4 (WC) and 1 (NW) on Wednesday night. This is preliminary data, so I'm going to keep my comments short about what we saw today.
In CD1 we ended with an average of 175.65 bu. per acre. It sounds impessive, but the tally is up just 9.9% from last year's drought crop. Worse yet, it's up just 3.9% from the three-year average of 169.13 for the northwest corner of the state.
The west-central part of the state (crop district 4) fared better against year-ago, gaining 18.7% from year-ago, but it was up just 5.3% from the three-year average.
The northwestern crop district came in at 175.65 bu. per acre, up 9.9% from year-ago and up 3.4% from the three-year average.
It's important to remember the 3-year averages includes last year's drought-reduced Crop Tour counts. I guess what I'm trying to say is the 2013 corn crop is good in western Iowa, but I wouldn't call it better than average.
And it needs time. And water.
Conditions on the spots we samp wew led today were generally drier than normal. With the slow development of the corn crop, it's really difficult to imagine the fields we sampled will average as good as what we thought we saw. The corn crop needs until at least Oct. 1 to be sure most of the crop will reach maturity.
Probelms with the 2013 corn crop date back to when the seed was put in the ground. Uneven plant spacing is just one symptom of the fast planting pace. Another is the uneven ear set on stalks. If everything is working right in a corn field, the ear will all be set at about at the same level on corn plants. This year, the is no consistenty to the ear set on stalks.
What was surprising was the soybean crop. It's slow develping and was planted late. The end result in northwest Iowa was an average number of pods in a 3'X3' square of just 802.98 pods... which is 18% lower than year ago and is 29.6% below the three-year average.
West-central Iowa saw a count of 991.01 pods in a 3'X3' square, which is up 10.8% from last year, but is down 18.6% from the three-year average.
Southwestern Iowa had a pod count that was up 5.5% from last year, at 1,101.49 pods in a 3'X3' square. That sounds impressive, but compared to the three-year average, the tally is down 8.2% .from the three-year average.
There is a lot more I'd like to saw about this year's corn and soybean crops, but the eastern leg of the Tour will cover the eastern two-thirds of Iowa on Thursday andwe should wait for the results from the eastern Tour before passing judgment on the Iowas bean crop