Iowa Corn, Soybeans Inch Upward

August 21, 2015 06:00 AM
iowa corn pro farmer crop tour 2015

Many Iowa farmers are headed for a solid harvest, according to Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour data. 

“I was on the garden route in both (Iowa and Minnesota),” said accountant Paul Neiffer, who scouted the western leg of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop tour. “We probably saw the best corn in each state,” with 11 of 14 samples in Iowa delivering a yield check of more than 200 bu. per acre.

This year does look to be a strong one for Iowa. According to crop tour data, Iowa farmers could see an estimated corn yield of 180.25 bu. per acre and soybean potential of 1,219 pods in a 3’x3’ square.

“I think it’s really healthy Iowa crop,” said scout Kurt Line, who farms in Illinois. “Things on my route were very consistent for the most part.”

That represents a slight increase from last year, when Iowa samples gave an estimated corn yield of 178.75 bu. per acre and a 3’x3’ pod count of 1173.59.

Those numbers match up with what Jim Yoder, a farmer in Wellman, Iowa, and a scout on the tour’s western leg, expected. “I don’t think (the crops) will be quite as good as last year,” he said. “The thing that’s really hurt us (on corn) is late leaf disease.”

In 2014, Iowa planted 13.7 million acres of corn, producing 2.4 billion bushels with an average yield of 178 bu. per acre. This year, USDA has forecasted an average corn yield of 183 bu. per acre for Iowa.

That estimate may be a touch high for many farmers, who are worrying about how the cloudy, cool days of 2015 may have affected their growing season and yield potential.

“I think (the corn crop) needs sunshine and some warmer temperatures to slow-cook it and fill those kernels,” said Ellwood Line, a farmer in Illinois. “Sunshine makes grain at this time of year.”

As for Iowa beans, their solid pod counts still have enough time to translate into greater yield, especially given recent rains. “The soybeans definitely have enough moisture,” Line said.

They are also generally healthy, with the exception of aphids and sudden death syndrome.  “I saw small patches of sudden death syndrome and some insect pressure,” said Sam Schmidt, general manager of The Agronomic Consulting Group in West Point, Neb. “If the SDS set in earlier, it would have been more detrimental. But I don’t think it will have a large impact on yield.”

Last year, Iowa planted 9.9 million acres of soybeans, producing 506 million bushels with an average yield of 51.5 bu. per acre, according to USDA. The agency expects that to rise to 52 bu. per acre in 2015.

For more information:

See full coverage of the 2015 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, hosted by Pro Farmer.

Take your own field measurements and participate in Pro Farmer's Virtual Crop Tour.

Follow the Tour on Twitter with the hashtag #pftour15.

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8/21/2015 07:27 AM

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