As Pro Farmer Crop Tour scouts descend across the U.S., those in South Dakota are finding high levels of variability field to field, sometimes just miles apart. Note, if corn ears aren’t pollinated, they’re not counted. And if soybean pods are less than one-quarter of an inch they’re not counted.
“Nothing is consistent,” says Jarod Creed, scout on the tour and owner of JC Marketing Services LLC. “We’re at our fourth stop, and it’s by far the best corn we’ve seen.”
According to last week’s USDA Crop Progress report, South Dakota is at 85% silking, compared to a five-year average of 96%. Only 64% of the crop is rated good to excellent.
“West of the James river [looks better],” Creed says. “Everything east of there, you’ll see for every one field planted there are four or five unplanted. This was definitely a battle zone.”
The crop is showing signs of a struggle, too. Scouts says they’re seeing diseases, poor health, lower stand counts and corn that is massively behind normal—with some only two weeks past pollination.
“The crop has a long way to go,” Creed explains.
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