Far ahead of last year remains the rallying cry for scouts on the 2010 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour as it closes out the Indiana numbers on the East Tour Tuesday night.
"The crop remains far more advanced than we’ve seen in the past tow years," says Roger Bernard, East Tour director. "Last year finding corn that was in that in the milk or dough stage was very common last year. This year, we only found one field that was in the dough stage. Most of it was denting.
"The beans pod counts are pretty good in Illinois."
The final numbers for Indiana, like Ohio, came in higher than 2009 numbers. The tour corn yield average in Indiana was 167.09, compared to 157.35 last year. Soybean pod counts in a 3’x3’ area came in at 1238.64 vs. 1194.92 in 2009.
Bernard, who started the day just northwest of Indianapolis on Tuesday morning and drove straight across into Illinois before angling down to the night’s stop in Bloomington, Ill., says he started to see more dryness in the fields as he came further into Illinois.
Bernard’s brother Mark serves as the East Tour agronomist. Every soybean field he sampled Tuesday morning had symptoms of SDS (sudden death syndrome), he says. "It’s not severe, but it’s certainly noticeable in every field we’ve been into," says East Tour agronomist Mark Benard. "Hopefully a lot of these fields are far enough advance that SDS won’t impact the final yields. Flat pods are a concern for me. Those may be the one’s that will take. A couple samples we pulled this morning are more on the flat side, because they were delayed in their planting."
Other scouts reported more instances of SDS as they moved west. Peter Meyer, a commodity trader with JP Morgan experienced that as they moved through the day.
On the corn side, Meyer says the fields looked very good from the road, but once in the fields he became disappointed in what he saw.
"From the road, the fields looked great. We went into the end rows and we passed plenty of 9-inch ears. But once we got in there, we had a hard time finding anything that was over 5.5 inches."
Reports of some corn being harvested are coming from eastern Illinois and western Indiana. In western Illinois, the scout group led by Lou Arens, a commodity broker with PCI Advisory Services, pulled back to back corn samples that were already in black layer stage.