From the Rows with Mark Bernard
Day three of the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour had our group dead heading north to sample in the counties of Bureau, Livingston, Henry, LaSalle, and Grundy in IL. The Co’s of Muscatine, Johnson and Louisa in IA were also sampled. We had a split route with Joe Wise, Byron Jones, Joe Hofmeyer and Ricardo Gomez manning the route in Livingston, LaSalle and Grundy Co’s. in IL. The group I was with today was headed by driver Lou Arens, rider Steve Schuman, and Sam Iida where we focused on Bureau and Henry Co’s in IL and Johnson and Louisa in IA. We had the Morgan Stanley group following us in the afternoon after they graciously bought us lunch. It’s always fun to show a diverse group from all over the world what we’re doing.
We saw some extremely variable crop today. On the 9 corn samples we pulled from IL we averaged 160 bu./acre with a high of 197 and a low of 105 in Grundy Co. On the 9 soybean samples we pulled from the same counties, our average in the 3x3 was1176 pods, with a high of 2067 in LaSalle Co. and a low of 656 in Bureau Co.
On the 7 samples we pulled in IA, we saw similar variation but some surprisingly good corn yields given the circumstances, namely extremely dry soils. The irrigation system we saw running in Johnson Co. was doing so for a reason. We averaged 183 bu./acre on the corn from our route today with a high of 215 coming from Muscatine Co. with a low of 152 from the same the same Co.
In the soybeans, we saw relatively light disease and insect pressure. There was some evidence of prior Japanese beetle feeding although few were found when we were in the fields. Some routes noted SDS but none was discovered on our route. This is a positive as the crop begins to struggle to maintain the yield potential it with these extremely dry soil conditions to end on a positive note.
There were a few things in the corn to be concerned about including the increasing amount of tip back that will occur as temperatures continue to heat up and rainfall has come at a premium recently. As Pioneer Agronomist Jim Lafrenz pointed out at tonight’s gathering, nitrogen deficiency wasn’t necessarily widespread on a field wide basis but was particularly evident in areas of fields. The maturity of this crop is also a concern. We attempted to sample a field in Muscatine Co. that had just pollinated. There was no way we felt this field would make corn so we opted to sample another one nearby. While we were in that first field however we did note the heavy rootworm beetle pressure, primarily northerns that were attracted to the fresh silks and pollen. This was why I warned the crowd tonight that if you have plans to plant fields like this back into corn you’d better be on your game.
With the remainder of IA and MN, I expect that the group will see experience the devastation caused by the extremely wet spring up close and personal. Having lived through it, I’m not sure it’s something I real really care to see, especially after looking at crops most of the week that will likely make it pale by comparison. Oh well, that’s why we take the samples.
On to our destination in Rochester as we finish up the rest of IA and MN!
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.