From the Rows: Western Tour - Day 4 - Terry Johnston

August 19, 2010 08:36 PM
 

 

TJ 2010 Tour-Day 4
We rolled out from Spencer, IA this morning at O’dark-thirty headed for Austiin, MN. But wait… we had to go west first, nearly to the western border of Minnesota, north to Canby, MN and then we made our way southeast to Austin. It was cloudy and cool  to start the day and then the clouds gave way to sunshine and the temps stayed cool. It made for a good day of crop scouting.

I can’t say we found a whole lot different crop than we have seen the rest of the week. It was evident that in many areas they have had too much rain, it wasn’t as extreme as some of the fields we saw in Iowa and South Dakota, but there were ponded and uneven areas and off-color pants.

Once again the corn again seemed to be the most affected by the excess moisture. We noted that the plants were pale green or yellow and there were signs of denitrification and nitrogen leaching as well as some leaf disease and stock rot. In several fields we went into the corn was either lodging or goose-necking, those fields will be a real challenge to combine this Fall. The ear counts were pretty decent in most fields, but as we’ve mentioned this several times this week the grain length was the major limiting factor on the yield potential in the corn samples we took. On a more positive note, we found very little insect pressure and the crop is more mature than last year and in most cases ahead of normal. Overall the fields had better yields than we thought they would they just looking at them from the road, another reason windshield observations are not an accurate way to determine yield potential; you have to get into the fields. From what we saw today, Minnesota has potential for good yields, but doesn’t appear to be as good as last year.

The soybeans we sampled today once again proved to be the constant on this year’s tour. Aside from a few drowned out areas, they were uniform in height and had plenty of pods on them. The pods are filling nicely and right on schedule for a normal or maybe early harvest barring any unforeseen weather issues. The plants are very healthy… insects and diseases were noticeably absent. This is one of the healthiest bean crops I’ve seen on the many years I’ve been on the Western Tour. Potentially the Minnesota crop will be as good as or even better than last year.

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