From the Rows, Day 3: Through Rain and Mud and Fields, the Scouts March On - Mark Bernard (Eastern Leg)

August 25, 2016 12:21 AM

From the Rows with Mark Bernard

Day three of the 2016 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour had our group running south of Bloomington, Illinois, in a torrential downpour, deadheading through Decatur to start sampling in Macon Co. Luckily by the time we hit the field, the rain had stopped and it didn’t bother us the rest of the day. We had a crew consisting of driver Scott Gladish of On Store LLC based out of Winona MN, Ken Lee of Inkenig Asset Management based out of Singapore (originally from the UK)  and Daniel Periera of Geosys International from Plymouth, Minnesota (originally from Brazil). Our route took us south of Springfield and then on an angle towards Ft. Madison, Iowa, where we crossed the Iowa border. We sampled in the counties of Macon, Christian, Sangamon, Macoupin, Greene, Morgan, Cass, Schuyler, and McDonough.

Unlike my last scouting adventure through that area in 2012, the crop was relatively uniform and there was no harvest activity. Corn was nearing black layer however and in some instances we could find kernels on some ears that had reached physiological maturity. Yields were much more consistent than the drought year of 2012 with the high yield on today’s route coming from Macoupin Co. at 251 bu. per acre and the low from Morgan Co. at 182. The corn yield averaged 202 bu. per acre. The one problem that was noticeable in several fields was the presence of stalk rot. Coupled with the high ear placement on some of the same fields, this may not bode well for those wanting to wait for corn to dry in the field to save on drying costs. That strategy could result in a grave error on those fields.

The soybean samples we pulled today were also relatively consistent. The high we had today in the 3’ x 3’on our route was 1680 in Sangamon Co. with an outlier low of 720 in Morgan Co. Our route today averaged 1273 pods in the 3’ x 3’ sampling areas.

In the soybean fields on our route, we saw relatively light disease and insect pressure. Another positive was the general abundance of soil moisture with which to finish the crop out. There were fewer small pods though to finish than what we saw the previous two days in Ohio and Indiana.

We came across the border into Iowa at Ft. Madison and we were only able to pull a couple samples before having to head in for the evening meeting. The corn samples in Lee and Henry counties yielded 140 and 192 bu. per acre respectively. The 3’ x 3’ bean pod counts in the samples were also respectable; 1242 in the sample from Lee Co. and 2176 from Henry Co. Something that struck me though on the way in was what appeared to be large amounts of SDS in some soybean fields. Shades of 2009? We shall see as we sample our way across Iowa tomorrow.       


For More Information

Follow #pftour16 Leaders Chip Flory and Brian Grete, as well as Consultants Mark Bernard and Emily Carolan on Twitter. Follow Julianne Johnston for official Tour results.

Additional Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour information is available on


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