From the Rows, Day 4: Iowa Samples Impressive, Not Record-Breaking - Mark Bernard

August 25, 2016 11:59 PM
Tools of the Crop Tour Trade

From the Rows with Mark Bernard

The final day of the 2016 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour had us heading out to the north and east of Iowa City. The crew today included Carlos Poblete from Chile working for Continental Grain in New York City, Juliano Silva from Brazil working for COFCO in Sao Paulo Brazil, along with Paul Sheriff, longtime Tour participant and farmer from Illinois. It never ceases to amaze me how such a unique and brilliant bunch of people becomes melded together into a unit that goes out and gets the job done. We had a great day of sampling and the day went by very quickly. We weren’t the first group in from the field but at least we weren’t the last. While sampling fields is work, we still manage to have some fun in the process.

Our route was a partial route today and sampled in the counties of Linn, Jones, Delaware and Dubuque. The corn yield average on our route today was 192 bu. per acre with a high of 215 in Delaware Co. and a low of 160 in Jones Co. The sample area in that corn field had the misfortune of being one of the raccoon’s favorites back when it was still in the milk stage. In the soybeans our high pod count was 1,552 pods in the 3’x3’ from Linn Co. and the low was 1,088 in Delaware Co. The average pod count on our route today in the 3’x3’ was right at 1,300.

Insect pressure was all but nonexistent as compared to most years SDS was all too common in the fields we sampled as well as many we drove by on the route. Like the route I was on last year farther to the west, as we moved north the amount of SDS noted lessened and the impact on yield is likely to be less there. One of the problems however is the rinse cycle the weather pattern seems to be stuck on. The longer it continues its antics, the more problem we will likely have from SDS.

All in all, the corn crop we saw today was impressive, yet not perhaps on a par with what we sampled last year on our route. Here again we have a weather related fly in the ointment. Stalk integrity especially on hybrids with high ear placement should be monitored carefully. The stalk quality today is as good as it will get and will only go downhill from here on out.

Would like to thank our sponsors for sponsoring this year’s Crop Tour and to Pro Farmer for asking me to serve as Tour Consultant again this year. It’s work but it’s also a lot of fun and a wonderful way to see the U.S. corn and soybean crop as well as getting acquainted with some of the greatest people from all over the world you’ll ever want to meet. Would highly recommend it to anyone interested.     


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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