The 2017 crop tour is officially wrapped up and we can’t thank the scouts and everyone who attending the meetings enough. We had more participation than ever from farmers, marketers, businessman & women who enjoy meeting a great group of people and finding out exactly how good our corn and bean crops are. After pulling over 3,000 corn and bean samples, it is our largest sample count in the 25 year history of the tour. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU scouts for another fantastic year!
The Minnesota crop we toured through today has set itself up for high potential but needs a strong finish to fill pods and put some weight on the kernels. The corn crop we scouted was honestly some of the healthiest looking corn we went through all week. No disease pressure, little stand issues, and a longer measurable ear than last year and the three year average. No hard signs of drought in the corn crop and moisture was plentiful in the top profile of the soil.
Many routes experienced a wider than expected range for their stops when it came to their corn yields. The explanation for this is harder to determine than most years. Let’s put it in to perspective here- my scout team took four samples in a field today. This is NOT something we normally do but after taking the first sample we needed to do some investigating. Our four samples in the same part of the field ranged from 101-220 bu./acre. Crazy right knowing our tour average for the state was a 191 bu./acre. We were noticing smaller than expected ears due to a rough spring and those ears have became late emergers. With the decent weather, the late emergers still seemed to put on a 3-4 inch ear and by Crop Tour law, you still count those ears and sample them if they fall in the 5, 8, or 11 ear spot. This caused us to find samples so sporadic and gave us a good indication on what could really limit this crop. The only other noticeable issue was the maturity and with forecasts looking slim for sunlight and heat, it could pull the crop back from what it has set itself up for.
The bean crop was a different story. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard it where if the corn is out performing, the bean yields come back weak. That’s exactly the case in the Minnesota bean crop and I was a little surprised by the distance between the nodes and the branching of the plants. There was larger than normal spaces between the nodes which doesn’t give us a very good opportunity as the crop matures throughout the year to give the crop an upper end yield potential. The branching of the plant was another noticeable issue. Where you are normally able to find plants in the field look like small tree trunks with branching, that wasn’t the case this year. There was more consistency with the number of pods per plant rather than finding one small, medium, and bean plant by grabbing three random plants. What we saw in the field was not a top end yield potential crop and it will be interesting to see how the weather plays out in the next two months!
Pro Farmer will release their crop estimates for the nation and by state at 1:30PM Central
Thank you for another great year and we look forward to another exciting year on the crop tour in 2018!