The first day of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour ended with the release of results from South Dakota and Ohio. The Tour found an average corn yield of 141.10 bu. per acre for South Dakota and 156.26 bu. per acre for Ohio. Pod counts in a 3'x3' square totaled 1,106.66 pods in South Dakota and 1,253.21 pods in Ohio.
Pro Farmer editor and western Tour director Chip Flory says, "I saw the best South Dakota corn crop I’ve ever seen on the Tour today! There…that’s a great example of why you don’t pay too close attention to one route!"
Flory elaborates, "My first three stops in South Dakota today were in corn fields with yields between 190 bu. and 200 bu. per acre. These are dryland acres! That's awesome for South Dakota! But, when all 39 samples were averaged today, we had an average yield of 141.1 bu. per acre, down 1.7% from 2010 Tour results."
Flory’s sampling of the soybean crop, on the other hand, "was a real mystery." He notes that he pulled one of the best soybean samples he’s ever pulled on the Tour, with "2,200-plus pods in a 3'x3' square" and 15 miles down the road pulled a sample with only 650 to 700 pods. He warns that final soybean yields will be determined by how much water is available to the crop -- today and going forward. Flory says the South Dakota bean crop could be as good as or better than last year’s crop if it gets another shot of rain.
Western Tour consultant Terry Johnston saw more variety on his route through southeastern South Dakota. He notes that corn and soybean yields varied depending upon planting dates and moisture levels -- too much in the spring or too little moisture in recent weeks limited yields.
But Johnston did note some consistencies. "Most routes found the crops to be generally healthy and green and relatively free of insects and diseases. On my route, the northern counties tended to be better. As we moved south of Mitchell, S.D., it got drier and the crops were showing stress from lack of moisture," he says.
On the eastern leg of the Tour sampled through Ohio, Eastern tour consultant Mark Bernard notes that corn yields ranged from a low of 88 bu. per acre to a high of around 240 bu. per acre. Soybean pod counts in the 3'x3' square were also all over the board, ranging from 620 pods to more than 3,500 pods.
Bernard says overall crop health in the state was "very good with disease pressure in corn and beans generally very light." But, he adds, "one thing that stuck out in some of the soybean fields was the weed pressure that had possibly affected some of the pod counts in the drier areas. Of particular note were things like horseweed (marestail), common ragweed and giant ragweed escapes."
On his route through Ohio, Pro Farmer senior market analyst and eastern Tour director Brian Grete says, "variability was the word of the day."
He continues, "That's likely the result of the rough conditions producers in the Buckeye State have faced throughout the growing season. Crops were 'mudded in' and then, in a lot of cases, it turned hot and dry in July."
Grete says late planting has also led to some crop concerns. He notes, "Ohio crops need time to mature. They will also need timely rains to get them to the finish line and maintain the yield potential we measured for corn and for the soybean crop to fill the pods we counted. That means there’s still a lot of uncertainty with this year’s Ohio corn and soybean crops."
On Tuesday, Tour scouts on the eastern leg will begin their day in Fishers, Ind., traveling to Bloomington, Ill. Western Tour scouts will travel from Grand Island, Neb., to Nebraska City, Neb. Final results from Indiana and Nebraska will be released this evening on ProFarmer.com and AgWeb.com.
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