From the Rows with Mark Bernard
Day one on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour had my route heading slightly north of Columbus OH then angling slightly southwest on US Hwy 36, from Delaware to Palestine on US Hwy 36. Our scouting crew consisted of driver Alex Norton of Beeson and Associates from Prospect KY, Sisi Zhang of Glencor Grain in the Netherlands (she is originally from Beijing), Sharon Raszap Skorbinsky working for USDA-ERS, originally from Uruguay now working in Washington DC and Shelbi Knisley also working out of DC for USDA-ERS, originally from Dallas, Texas. One would have to work at it to get a crew much more diverse than that.
Our route was short in Ohio as we pulled seven samples there and an additional five in Indiana. The samples in Ohio came from crop reporting districts 4 and 5. Starting with the corn, we saw a crop that had apparently struggled with moisture and likely heat issues as evidenced by the tip back and uneven ear size. Our high yields for the day came from Champaign and Miami counties with yields of 182 bu. per acre. The low sample came from Union Co. at 121 bu. per acre. Our route average was 163 bu. per acre. Weed control was generally good and disease pressure was typically low. Gray leaf spot was present in the fields we sampled although it wasn’t heavy enough to be of concern. Insects were also of minor concern with only one field noticeably goose necked.
Soybean samples also came from the same counties and crop reporting districts. The highest 3’x3’ pod counts came from Darke Co. at 1689 with the low in Miami Co. at 768 and everything in between. The soil moisture came into play as recent rains had soaked the ground up pretty well. This gave me the impression that many of the small pods we counted today would probably still have a good chance to produce soybeans and enhance yield.
How did the Ohio crop stack up to my expectations? The corn on our route was about what I would’ve expected. Once I saw the route we were on, I knew we weren’t in the driest area so the corn yield was not out of line. Likewise with the soybeans on our route. Recent rains in Minnesota had moved their way through much of the Midwest. We were more than happy to pass it along as it has suddenly gone from just right to too wet in much of Minnesota.
Off to finish up Indiana tomorrow and get a sneak preview of Illinois. One thing noticeable from the Indiana samples we pulled today was that they were more consistent than what we sampled in Ohio. Will that trend continue as we move west? That’s why we’re out here.
For More Information
Be sure to follow AgWeb's coverage of Farm Journal Media's Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. Watch reports from the field by following Farm Journal Media journalists along for the ride on Twitter: Alison Rice at @agweb_alison, Ben Potter at @potterben, Chip Flory at @ChipFlory, Brian Grete at @bgrete, and Betsy Jibben at @BetsyJibben. And check AgWeb each evening this week for the day's freshest summary on what they're seeing in the field.
Additional Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour information is available on ProFarmer.com.