From the Rows with Brian Grete
I should have known by mentioning how nice the weather was on Day 1 of the Tour that things would change. The morning weather started out nice with bright sunshine and mild temps. But a big storm rolled across Illinois on Tuesday, drenching Tour scouts as they moved through eastern Illinois. Forecasts call for hot and humid conditions across western Illinois and eastern Iowa Wednesday.
While variability was the best way to describe crop conditions in Ohio and eastern Indiana on Day 1 of Tour, stress and crops that were pushed on maturity were the feature of Day 2 as scouts sampled western Indiana and eastern Illinois. Out of necessity, producers in this area rushed to get their crops in after a very wet spring and there was evidence of that in many of the fields sampled by Tour scouts. Skips in rows and blank stocks were routinely noted in scouting reports from Day 2. Plant health, especially for the corn crop was also a noted issued through western Indiana and eastern Illinois.
On my particular route through Boone, Montgomery, Fountain, Warren and Benton counties in Indiana, we had an average corn yield estimate of 131 bu. per acre, with a low of 77.1 bu. and a high of 164.6 bu. per acre. Ear counts were generally low and/or grain length was limited and there were noted pollination issues. Many of the fields were yellow or brown, with a fair amount showing some ears starting to drop or already dropped.
For soybeans, my route showed an average pod count in a 3' x 3' square of 1151.82, with a low of 506.8 and a high of 1407.8. The number of plants were generally low and/or the plants were lacking big pod numbers.
The Tour average for the Indiana corn crop is reflective of the moisture and heat stress that was seen after the crop was, in many instances, "mudded in." Tour samples for Indiana corn averaged 143.1 bu. per acre, which was down 14.3% from last year's findings. The final Indiana soybean pod count in a 3' x 3' square came in at 1137.56, down 8.9% from the 2010 Tour.
Samples taken from eastern Illinois today indicate there are issues in at least that part of the state, although there's still a lot of Illinois left to sample Wednesday. And based on conversations with some of the producers at tonight's meeting in Bloomington, the top third of Illinois should produce some better yield results.
Day 3 of the eastern leg of the Tour will see scouts sampling fields from Bloomington, IL, to Iowa City, IA.
For More Information
2011 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour