Will USDA’s claims of record size corn and soybean crops pan out? Only time will truly tell, but the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour plans to give the market a better indication next week.
The highly anticipated crop tour starts on Monday. More than 100 scouts will split up into teams and scatter across the Midwest, from Ohio to Nebraska to gather more than 2,000 crop samples from corn and soybean fields. Their routes cover approximately 70% of the primary corn growing region of the country.
The Pro farmer tour relies on boots on the ground research to gauge crop conditions and potential yields from seven states comparing the results to last year's tour.
“The main thing is they've always touted the idea that look, we compare one crop year one crop tour to the prior crop year,” says Jeff Wilson leader of the Western leg of the tour. “We're not comparing how we look at or how USDA looked at the crops. We want to know what the comparison is from year to year on the crop tour. And that's the most important consistency with the crop tour data. You can use that to then make a judgment on whether or not USDA information is too high, too low or just right. “
Pro Farmer will release their national corn and soybean yields and production estimates at 1:30 CT on Friday, Aug. 24. These estimates include the data gathered throughout the week, plus other factors – how Pro Farmer analysts think the crop will finish, any changes to harvested acreage, areas outside of the Tour footprint, etc. Because of these other factors, the Friday estimates are Pro Farmer’s and not associated with Crop Tour. All of the data released Monday through Thursday is sample-driven Tour data.
To follow along with the tour on Twitter use the hashtag #pftour18. You will also be able to read tour analysis on AgWeb and listen to tour analysis on AgriTalk and AgriTalk After the Bell.