2010 Day 2 Eastern Tour Observations from Mark Bernard

August 17, 2010 07:15 PM

Day two of the 2010 Midwest Pro Farmer Crop Tour found us heading north with a crew of four. Pat Solon from Streator IL was the driver and we had Marcos Rubin from Brazil, Sebastian Montecliver from Argentina and yours truly as navigator. With two seasoned veterans and 2 who were quick studies it made the day go by quickly. It was interesting to hear Marcos speaking a combination of Spanish, Portuguese and English at the same time. I think he may have composed a new language.

The route took us north of Indianapolis to near Elwood where we started our sampling. We went from there to Wabash then on over to Rochester, Logansport, Remington and finally through Kentland where we crossed over the IN/IL border. The Co’s. sampled today on our route included Madison, Grant, Wabash, Fulton, Cass, White, Jasper and Newton.

Corn yields were fairly consistent although the high and low yield on the route were far apart. We recorded a low of 105 bu./acre in Wabash Co. and a high near 245 in Newton Co. on the IL/IN border. The average for the IN portion of our route was 165 bu./acre. Last year there were very few dented ears seen on this same route. Today in our samples most of the milk lines were half way down or farther. On the soybean side, pod counts were a pleasant surprise and we found a few plants that had 4-bean pods. On pods in the 3’ x 3’ sampling area our samples ranged from 816 to 2400. The average was around 1400. Pod counts don’t necessarily translate into higher yields but they usually don’t hurt either.

When it comes to agronomic issues, there were primarily some of the same as the day before. There was gray leaf spot in most fields as well as some evidence of northern corn leaf blight. Pat found an ear that had been fed on by western bean cutworm and there was one sample containing an ear that had been infected with diplodia. That sample also contained an ear with sprouted kernels. N deficiency was apparent, not only in the fields sampled but in those we drove by on the route. It was noted in the corn that stands were "gappy" in some fields sampled today, resulting in reduced ear counts on this route. The wet, cool May experienced in much of the area may have had something to do with this. SDS was more prevalent today and we could find it in almost every field. However, as late in the season as it’s getting going, the chances of it taking a large amount of yield off the top becomes less with each passing day. A few soybean aphids were found. We also found one token Japanese beetle and threatened to send it back to Brazil or Argentina.

All in all, the IN soybean crop we saw today still needs H2O to finish and realize its potential. It was very dry in most of the fields sampled making pulling the plants out of the ground difficult without breaking them off. The corn crop? More likely to be what you see is what you get.

Tomorrow it’s on to finish IL crop estimates. For now it’s time to get some z’s.

Click here for complete 2010 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour Coverage.

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