With muddy boots and dirty hands more than 100 Pro Farmer Crop Tour scouts are reporting their findings in South Dakota, Nebraska and Ohio. Rain and disease are putting pressure on crops at many stops, leading to extreme variability.
“There is a fair number of drowned out spots and the corn is a little uneven,” Jeff Wilson told AgriTalk host Chip Flory, reporting from the Western leg of the tour. He’s been through eight stops in southeast South Dakota so far and seen corn yield range from 153 bu. per acre to 248 bu. per acre. All said and done, it averages to 185 bu. per acre so far.
Kernel size might be a challenge for South Dakota farmers as scouts are seeing small kernels on a corn crop that is less mature than other parts of the Corn Belt. In addition, rain and other challenges are causing visible nitrogen deficiency in many of the fields in that area.
Soybeans aren’t singing a better tune for scouts out east either. “We have a wide range of pod counts, too,” Wilson said. “Anywhere from 500 to 1450 pods.”
He says the plants are being especially deceptive as small plants are ending up with some of the higher pod counts—eight and nine pods per node even. Soybeans are a touch behind, too, with some of the fields just finishing up bloom.
Most of the Eastern leg of the tour has been pretty uniform, with a few outliers.
“It’s a good Ohio crop out there,” Brian Grete, Pro Farmer editor said. He’s visiting fields in western and central Ohio. “We’re got a range so far on six stops of 100 bu. as well—109.9 to 209.9 bu. per acre. We’ve had one clunker at 100 and everything else was pretty high.”
Two of the six samples in Ohio were over the 200 bu. mark. Ohio crop development is well ahead of schedule as five out of the six samples were in full dent. There is more disease pressure on the Eastern leg of the tour, but most of it is staying below the ear leaf.
Overall, Grete said the state is lush, but not everything is perfect for both crops. However “Ohio is kind of a hit and miss state, usually depending on what the weather is,” he explained. “I’d say it’s more hits and misses this year based on what I’ve seen [so far].”
Ironically, Grete’s team’s worst corn sample was right across the road from its best soybean sample. They were short beans, but again were just packed full of pods.
Check out ProFarmer.com for full route reports from tour leaders every night on their “From the Rows” columns. And stay tuned for more coverage, including final numbers each day, on Agweb.com.