From the Rows -- Mark Bernard -- Day 2

August 20, 2013 07:03 PM

From the Rows with Mark Bernard

Day two of the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour found us heading north with a crew of 4 that included Montag’s Ken Clark from IA as driver, USDA’s Leslie Ahmed from Washington DC as navigator, Mark Gulley from New York City as a newbie scout  and yours truly as data recorder and statistician. We started out from Indianapolis and sampled west in the counties of Hamilton, Boone, Hendricks, Putnam, Parke and Vermillion in Indiana. Once in IL we pulled samples in  Edgar, Coles, Moultrie, Piatt, Mason and Dewitt. We were extremely fortunate to have Leslie, who grew up in Indiana as navigator. We got out of Indy in record time and were able to shoot some TV spots with Tyne Morgan without skipping a beat.
Corn yields on today’s route were respectable in IN although I perhaps would’ve expected more based on the yields from yesterdays IN sampling. Our IN route averaged 162 bu./acre with the high being recorded in Boone Co. at 196 and the low in Hamilton Co. at 85. The soybeans were also somewhat less than what we might’ve expected with the average pod count in the 3x3 measuring 1102 on our route. The high for us was measured in Vermillion Co. at 1758 pods and the low was found in Boone Co. with 557 pods.

On our route, IL was once again more like the IL I remember from my first years on the Crop Tour. Our route’s average corn yield was 187 bu./acre. The high we found was a 220 bu./acre yield in Edgar Co. and the low we measured was in Coles Co. at 125 bu./acre. The soybean pod counts in the 3x3 averaged 1345 on our route, with a high of 2246 in Coles Co. and a low of 602 in Edgar Co.

The disease pressure both yesterday and today have been light. A little dab of SDS was found in Putnam Co. but nothing after that. Not to say it 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. There was some GLS but nothing serious and judging by the comments at the evening meetings, many of the fields had been sprayed with a fungicide.

Insect pressure was also light today. We saw some token numbers of Japanese beetles in one field and one lone western corn rootworm beetle crawling around the back of the truck when we were measuring the corn samples. No soybean aphids were noted in any of our samples. My old job as Maytag repairman seems secure.

We did notice weed pressure in some fields today. One field of white corn was infested with shattercane and it made walking through it a challenge. The soybean field adjacent to it had plenty of velvetleaf, morning glory and other assorted goodies in it. Marestail or horseweed and giant ragweed infestations were also common in several of the fields we saw on our routes. Are they glyphosate resistant? Pretty hard to tell from the windshield but as Byron Jones warned at the evening meeting, there appears to be trouble on the horizon.

All in all another good day on the Crop Tour with the promise of another tomorrow. Temperatures are supposed to be warm so staying hydrated between fields will be key as we sample our way across IL to our destination in IA City tomorrow night.


For More Information

See full coverage of the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, hosted by Pro Farmer.

Take your own field measurements and participate in Pro Farmer's Virtual Crop Tour.

Additional information available on AgWeb.

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