Hey from Nebraska City, Nebraska. First thing we need to cover is some history of the Tour. Normally the Crop Tour samples from Nebraska for corn are about 40% irrigated and 60% dryland samples. That started to change last year when about 42% of the samples were irrigated. This year, the crop scouts pulled a record number of samples from Nebraska, but they also blew the top off the irrigated samples. This year, irrigated samples accounted for half of the samples we pulled from Nebraska. I know… that’s quite the shift. I’ll bring some perspective to that in a moment.
After a day and a half of pulling samples from Nebraska, the Crop Tour average corn yield came in at 165.42 bu. per acre, up 4.3% from year-ago. Some of that has to be because of the higher number of irrigated samples pulled this year. I backed out this year’s dryland samples (averaged 145 bu. per acre (rounded)) and this year’s irrigated samples (averaged 185 bu. per acre (rounded)) based on last year’s irrigated to dryland production. The result was a yield of 163.54 bu. per acre, a 3.1% increase from last year. USDA on Aug. 1 had the Nebraska yield up 2.8% from year ago.
Maybe the dryland crop has seen some more struggles than year-ago, but the irrigated crop is performing well. That’s the first time in three years you’ve heard me say I’m impressed by the irrigated corn in Nebraska. This year, the yield in Nebraska is up 4.3% from last year’s Tour yield. I’m surprised by that… crop conditions ratings certainly didn’t suggest that, but that's what we found on 315 corn samples in Nebraska. The average number of ears in 60’ of row was up .03%; the average grain length was up 2.8% from last year; and the average number of kernel rows around the ear was up 0.4% from last year. All told, we found an average corn yield up 4.3% from last year.
Now to the numbers on soybeans. I’ve said many times that good corn-growing conditions don’t necessarily make for good bean-growing conditions. We saw that in Nebraska this year. The average pod count in at 3’X3’ square was 1131.02 pods in a 3’X3’ square. That’s down 7.5% from last year’s Tour results.
Okay… let’s break out the comparison to USDA. On Aug. 1, USDA saw the corn yield up 2.8% from last year… we found a yield up 4.3% from last year, but the irrigated sample percentage was up from year-ago. Weighting the yield back to last year’s Irrigated:Dryland percentage, this year’s yield is up 3.1% from year-ago. All of the sudden, USDA’s jump from last year makes more sense.
Western Iowa is our next spot to tour this year. We’ve heard plenty of reports about how the crop looks in that part of Iowa… we’ll see what the Tour finds tomorrow. I’ll have details from western Iowa tomorrow night.