Audio reports by Pam Fretwell, Farm Journal Radio
The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour enters its final day of scouting today, as the tour makes its way up to Minnesota. And for those on the eastern leg, where crop conditions were hit hard by late planting and far too much rain, this year's tour has been full of surprises. Variability has been the buzzword.
"The route I took in Ohio was in the northern part of the state, and I was a little surprised that it was as good as it was," said Pat Buell, a farmer from western Indiana and Crop Tour scout for over a decade. "I thought, from what I had heard, that it wouldn't be that good, but it was better than I thought it'd be."
As Buell made his way into Indiana, conditions didn't improve, unfortunately. Listen to his full audio report:
"I was in the north again, and it was worse than I thought it'd be," he said. "The corn was terrible--lack of nitrogen, fields that weren't planted, and the yields were terrible."
Bill Bayliss, and Ohio farmer and 15-year Crop Tour scout, said he encountered similar conditions on his route. Listen to his full audio report:
"We knew that we had a lot of issues in Ohio with excessive rainfall, and it's really pretty sickening in my area," he said. "I heard it was worse north of me."
At first, he was pleasantly surprised as he left Columbus and headed west on I-70. "Things looked pretty good," he said, but his optimism was short-lived.
"Got over into Indiana and, oh my land, it just got worse," Bayliss said. "It surprised me. I had heard it was that bad or worse in northern Ohio. It was nasty. All the way into Illinois, still nasty."
However, both Buell and Bayliss reported improving conditions as they headed west.
"I thought the soybeans got better as we came west (through Illinois)," Buell said. "Corn was really pretty consistent.
This morning, the eastern scouts will make their way through eastern Iowa and into Minnesota. Bayliss is optimistic, based on what he's seen so far.
"Iowa's always a fooler," he said. "It looks a little ragged on the edges, but when you get in the field, it's always better than you think."
For more information:
See full coverage of the 2015 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, hosted by Pro Farmer.
Take your own field measurements and participate in Pro Farmer's Virtual Crop Tour.
Follow the Tour on Twitter with the hashtag #pftour15.