From the Rows -- Mark Bernard -- Eastern Leg Day 2
Day two of the 2015 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour found us heading north with a crew of 4 that included farmer Michael McDowell from Dallas City IL as driver, farmer Steve Fellure from Attica IN, Katie Micik of DTN from Omaha NE as statistician and yours truly as navigator. We started out from Indianapolis and sampled north in the counties of Tipton, Howard, Miami, Cass, White, Jasper, and Benton in IN along with Iroquois, Kankakee, Livingston and McLean in IL. We got out of Indy in record time and battled through numerous rain showers as well as a late afternoon funnel cloud without skipping a beat.
Corn yields on today’s route were respectable in IN on our route running somewhat contrary to the final tally from tonight’s meeting. Our IN route averaged 168 bu./acre with the high being recorded in Jasper Co. at 205 bu./acre and the low in White Co. at 105. The IN soybeans on our route were similar in many respects to the crop we sampled yesterday in both IN and OH with the average pod count in the 3x3 measuring 1170 on our route. The high for us was measured in Cass Co. with 1971 pods and the low was found in Howard Co. with 487 pods.
On our route, IL was very unlike the IL I remember from my first years on the Crop Tour. Our route’s average corn yield was 131 bu./acre. The high we found was a 189 bu./acre yield in Livingston Co. and the low we measured was in Iroquois Co. at 60 bu./acre. The corn in this field had just reached blister stage. When we emerged from the vehicles to sample it the smell of fresh corn pollen was heavy in the air. The soybean pod counts in the 3x3 averaged 1017 on our route, with a high of 1266 in Iroquois Co. and a low of 456 in Livingston Co.
The leaf diseases became more prevalent today in the corn, particularly SDS and gray leafspot. The disease pressure both yesterday and today were light in the soybeans. Little evidence of SDS and white mold was nonexistent. Not to say either disease couldn’t crop up in places but if more doesn't show up soon, chances are it won’t be a factor. Likewise in the corn.
Insect pressure was also light again today. We saw one token Japanese beetle in one field and no evidence of lodged corn, making a case for satisfactory control of corn rootworm despite less than stellar root systems under the corn. No soybean aphids were noted in any of our samples. Maybe just maybe I’ll make it through the week without seeing one.
We did notice weed pressure in some fields today. We came across a field of corn infested with Asiatic dayflower as well as horseweed with a few giant ragweeds thrown in for good measure. The dayflower is not controlled by glyphosate and it’s likely neither was the horseweed. Hard to say about the giant ragweed but I wouldn’t bet against it.
All in all and other good day on the Crop Tour with the promise of a hopefully drier day tomorrow. It’s been a while since I recall sampling in the rain two days in a row. Temperatures are supposed to be moderate as we head west so not wearing a rain suit most of the day would be a welcome change as we sample our way across IL to our destination in IA City tomorrow night.
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