Maybe It’s Not as Bad as We Thought

August 25, 2012 01:50 PM
Maybe It’s Not as Bad as We Thought

The grain markets have had plenty of new information to digest this week, courtesy of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.

You could almost get dizzy watching the markets react to the daily, hourly and up-to-the-minute updates from the 2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. As crop scouts examined fields in seven states, yields came in all over the board.

Here’s an overview of the state-by-state results from the tour:

State Corn Yield Estimate 3-Year Corn Average Soybean Pod Counts* 3-Year Soybean Average
Ohio 110.50 160.53 1,033.72 1,240.85
Indiana 113.25 155.84 1,033.24 1,190.37
Illinois 121.60 163.23 944.05 1,202.38
Iowa 137.27 171.66 999.80 1,255.50
Minnesota 156.19 182.23 934.35 1,115.85
Nebraska 131.79 156.94 894.43 1,277.24
S. Dakota 74.26 143.88 584.93 1,116.87

*Pro Farmer does not estimate a yield for soybeans, only the number of bods in 3' by 3'.

Obviously yield estimates and data are lower than average, yet still not dramatically lower in all states as some farmers and market experts were expecting.

The editors of Pro Farmer release their official estimates on Friday afternoon:

  • Corn: 10.478 billion bu.; average yield 120.25 bu./acre
  • Soybeans: 2.60 billion bu.; average yield of 34.8 bu./acre


In August, USDA released the following corn and soybean estimates:

  • Corn: 10.78 billion bu.; average yield of 123.4 bu./acre
  • Soybeans: 2.69 billion bu.; average yield of 36.1 bu./acre

Jerry Gulke, president of the Gulke Group, says the markets were most surprised this week by there actually being decent corn yields in some areas. "I think the market was expecting nobody to find any corn over 125 anywhere. It was a shock to see that some corn will be higher."

But, Gulke says, you still have to wonder if there will be enough good corn yields to offset all of the poor yields.

Just look at the variability between ear length and kernel size of some of the corn sampled during the tour:

 irrigated vs nonirrigated

irrigated field vs non

How Well Will this Corn Harvest?

Another important factor yet to be determined is the harvest quality of the corn crop. Gulke says he’s heard from several farmers who are already harvesting. Since this corn is shorter and the ears are smaller, it is much more difficult to actually get into the combine.

"Some are losing around 10 bushels an acre out the back," he says. "It may be a long-drawn out affair to know exactly what we have as far as actual grain."

Listen to Gulke's full commentary:


For More Information
Visit AgWeb’s Market Center.

Read full coverage of the 2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, hosted by Pro Farmer.


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Spell Check

8/25/2012 05:01 AM

  Is it Pro Farmer or Pro End-User?

8/25/2012 03:26 PM

  Yields running from 3 to 218 with field averages 97 bu /a. on March planted corn is what i am seeing on ground that made 180 to 240 in the past. later planted fields (April) 2 to 15 bu./a on light soils. yes it is as bad as I feared. This was the year for having swamp ground, its making the highest yields.

8/25/2012 09:29 PM

  So profarmer have estimated 120 an acre using 90000 kernels per bushel. Strange method to use in the worst drought for decades? I wonder how much lower the real yield will be when this kernels per bushel figure is corrected come harvest time? The commentators that dont think this crop tour is bullish for corn need to check their math!


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