Pro Farmer Editors
The second day of the 2009 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour found a Nebraska average calculated corn yield of 158.82 bu. per acre, up 11.9% from year-ago. The average number of ears in 60-foot of row jumped to 83.59 (up 5.2% from the 3-year-average) and the average grain length was at 7.37 inches (up 7.9% from the three-year average). Another contributor to yield was a drop in the average row space to 30.91 inches -- a 1.5% drop from the three-year average. The only thing working against the increase was a 0.75% drop in the average number of kernel rows around the ear.
Western Tour leader and Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory said, "In Nebraska City tonight, I asked the roughly 150 growers at the meeting to challenge our findings. In fact... I asked the growers to "fight with me," or at least challenge me, regarding our findings from this year's Crop Tour. I even begged the growers to fight with me. None of them did... a few of them even worked up the nerve to speak into the mic and say, "It's there."
On soybeans, the average number of pods in a 3'X3' square came in at 1,238.9, 6.5% higher than the three-year average. Most importantly, the crop has got some moisture to finish, and some great potential to be USDA's Aug. 1 estimate of 49 bu. per acre in Nebraska, says Chip. "But, Nebraska has proven it's really tough to push above 50 bu. per acre in the state. To push much higher than 50 bu. per acre, the finish on the crop will have to be really good," he says.
The Indiana crop in general is further along than last year, but that didn't take a whole lot. Still it is a crop that probably is too far down the road for the hefty showers to really provide a benefit, says Eastern Tour Director and Pro Farmer News Editor Roger Bernard. "It will ease plant stress and will allow the plant to keep more of the yield potential that we measured. But it still is a crop that is behind."
In Indiana we measured 157.35 bu. per acre, down 4.0% from last year's 163.82 bu. per acre. That decline was not too surprising, as several fields in Indiana had less-than-stellar yields, says Eastern Tour Consultant, Mark Bernard. Our ears in 60 foot of row were down slightly, but grain length -- at 6.09 inches -- was down nearly a half inch from last year. "Given the fact the Hoosier state has been dry the past several weeks and now temps had started to rise, we found tip back or poor pollination evident on nearly every sample. And the kernel rows bumped past 16 after being below 16 last year," says Mark.
For soybeans, we measured 1194.92 pods in a 3 ft. by 3 ft. square, down 8% from year-ago on the Tour. And the pod counts in Indiana weren't horrible, but they weren't spectacular. Bean pod counts in a 3 foot by 3 foot square ranged 384 to 2016 pods, with an average of 1069 pods.
"We would have liked to have seen pod counts stronger, but we have seen improvement as we have traveled west," says Roger Bernard. "Two samples out of Benton county were the largest on our route so far today. A common thread that continues in Ohio and continues into Indiana is bean fields look very healthy, as we aren't seeing very much insect or disease pressures. Rains are still a key need. If the beans get another rain, they will help them along, but it too late for drought-stressed corn."
Like the crop in Ohio, the Indiana bean crop has had some moisture stress.
Today the western leg of the Tour moves on to sample parts of western Iowa, while the eastern leg will finish off sampling in Illinois. Final Illinois results will be released tonight.
Click here for Nebraska Midwest Crop Tour results.
Click here for Indiana Midwest Crop Tour results.
About Pro Farmer and Professional Farmers of America
Professional Farmers of America (PFA) is part of Farm Journal Media, the nation's leading agricultural media company. PFA provides news, perspective, and analysis presented in a variety of formats including the weekly Pro Farmer newsletter - the nation's most widely circulated agricultural newsletter. The organization is also known for its seminars and live events including Midwest Crop Tour.
About Farm Journal Media
Farm Journal Media is the nation's leading agricultural media company. Its magazines are the 133-year-old flagship Farm Journal, as well as Top Producer, Beef Today, Dairy Today and Implement & Tractor. The company produces two national television programs, "AgDay" and "U.S. Farm Report." Its Web sites include the nation's leading agricultural portal, AgWeb.com, and the most comprehensive farm equipment site, MyMachinery.com. Farm Journal Media also publishes the Pro Farmer family of newsletters, produces numerous live events, offers custom publishing services and provides extensive database services.