The word from Pro Farmer's Crop Tour today is that as both legs (east and west) travel toward the center of the Cornbelt, yield potential has gone down in the surveyed fields. The funny thing is, some low yielding fields are due to washout in June, while others are due to persistent mid-season dryness.
We have been conducting a micro-Crop Tour of our own here at the Monitor. We have been checking in with a corn field in Grundy County, Iowa since the crop first emerged on May, 17. We noted at that time that as this field was emerging, a number of nearby plots were still waiting on anhydrous applications. This has led to a late crop with a number of potential problems, and the real Pro Farmer Tour stops in Iowa have shown a very inconsistent Iowa corn crop.
A little over a month later, USDA upped its corn planted acreage estimate, and I decided that day I would revisit our cornfield to see if it inspired me that same way it had USDA. We recorded knee-high corn by June 28, and I joked in that article that if I had waited until the fourth of July to take the picture, I would have needed a step ladder.
Well into maturity and starting to dent, this corn crop is taller than I am by a good foot, 30 paces in -- I stand 6'1 1/2" in my Chuck Taylors. By the photo to the side, you can see the corn now dwarfs me. Ears are good -- long and fat with great kernel population. The longer we go along in this growing season, however, the less typical this field appears. I did not do a count on the scale of the PF Crop Tour, but from what chip and Brian are saying from the fields on the east and west coasts of Iowa, our Inputs Monitor Micro-Crop Tour may have landed in the best cornfield in Iowa.
If all goes according to plan, the next time I report on the only field surveyed in the Monitor's 2013 Micro-Tour I expect to flag down the combine for a yield check and a quick chat about anhydrous. This particular field has a lot of advantages. High ground, perfectly timed fertilizer applications and planting that shot the gap between the snow and the rain. A lot of things went right in this plot, and we look forward to tallying the actual yield at harvest.
Photo credits: D. Michaelsen, Inputs Monitor