The curtain falls. The 2008 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour is now history. We collected huge amounts of data from a ton of acres. We took 176 samples in Ohio (88 each corn and soybeans), 266 samples in Indiana (133 of corn and soybeans each), 324 samples in Illinois (161 corn and 163 soybeans), and a whopping 650 samples in Iowa (325 each of corn and soybeans -- that one reflects the work of both the east and west legs of the Tour). And there's no way we could have done it without all the scouts. We had a tremendous group on the east with nearly 70 scouts by the time that we wrapped things up in Austin, Minnesota.
Eastern Iowa revealed. It's a mixed bag in this portion of the state. But then when you travel any length of distance, you're bound to find varied yields. Grundy County, for example, is typically a strong production county. I sampled in that county but didn't find anything that bested 200 bushels. But other scouts who came through that county did find yields about that mark. It seemed the more-easterly routes were finding those big numbers while the returns tended to decline somewhat as you got more toward the middle of the state.
On soybeans, the pod counts we collect were disappointing. The pods per plant were just lacking as we trekked west from Cedar Rapids toward Marshalltown and then turned basically straight north toward Minnesota and our final destination in Minnesota.
Overall, there were few disease issues and/or insect pressures. While we did start to see some aphids showing up, they weren't at threshold levels. And as we moved north, the pods moved from being on the flat side to being plump. But there still weren't a lot of them and the pods per node were a lot of times in the two or three category instead of the four or five.
Bottom line: Our corn yield figure is 168.33 bu. per acre and is up slightly from year-ago marks and our soybean pod count was 1006.58 in that 3ft. x 3ft. square. 1218.40 last year.
So, we close another chapter on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour and look forward to next year when we fan out once again to sample fields across this fantastic country. Click here for complete 2008 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour Coverage.