Sara Muri, AgWeb Crops Online Editor
(Darke County, Ohio) – After seven samples of corn and soybeans in Ohio on the 2008 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, the best word to describe the results is "variability.” Strong signs of delayed planting and pest pressures are showing a likely wide range of yields for Ohio farmers.
"Both corn and beans are extremely variable,” says Mark Bernard, a Crop Tour host and Certified Crop Consultant from Richmond, Minn. "We had a little too much dry weather a little too long, apparently.”
Based on corn samples taken today in Ohio, an average of the rough yields predicts yields to reach around 155 bu./acre. The range of rough yields registered between 96 and 197 bu./acre. In 2007, yields averaged 161.9 bu./acre in the same counties and 162.6 bu./acre in 2006, according to USDA.
On the soybean end, plants are looking short as a result of little soil moisture. Many of the fields are also showing heavy feeding by Japanese Beetles.
After the seven Ohio samples, the number of pods in a 3' by 3' square (a good estimate to compare previous years) averages 1,250, with a range of 540 to 2,419. On a similar route last year, the pod count for a 3' by 3' square averaged 1,271.3. The 3-year average for Ohio is 1,226.7 pods per 9 sq. feet.
Don Harris, a tour crop scout from Indiana, says the beans could still develop adequately, even with the low soil moisture. "An inch of rain could make a big different,” he says.
Tonight, the 12 routes of crop scouts on the eastern leg will assemble in Fishers, Ind., to compile the first day's results. Pro Farmer experts will then announce the day's yield estimates. The eastern leg of the tour will journey through Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and convene in Minnesota at the end of the week.
Stay tuned to AgWeb for more Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour coverage.
You can e-mail Sara Muri at firstname.lastname@example.org.