Midwest Crop Tour Findings: Day 2

August 19, 2008 07:00 PM
2008 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

Nebraska corn looks showy, but yield checks were disappointing, raising some questions. Indiana crops are making a good showing, but are thirsty for timely rains to finish strong. Nebraska’s irrigated corn fields are not as good as they look. Early spring rains may have leached some of the fall-applied nitrogen. Growers may also have altered some irrigation schedules to scrimp on energy costs. Dryland fields are showing a need for late summer rains. But crop scouts did not see any lingering concerns. They are finding some incidents of rust and gray leaf spot in the Nebraska fields, but few maturity issues, according to data gathered by experienced crop scouts on this week’s Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.

In Indiana, Tour participants measured corn yields at an average of 163.82 bushels per acre based on 133 samples. That’s more than 15 bushels better than the 148.17 bu. per acre yield measured by the Tour in 2007.

Eastern tour director and Pro Farmer senior editor, Roger Bernard, comments, “Dryness is a real problem. Both corn and soybean crops will need regular rains to help push crops to a favorable finish.” Our crop consultant on the tour reports Indiana overall is in better shape than he has seen on previous tours. Corn was planted in a timely fashion, and they had good rains early to get the crop up and going. They don’t see any maturity issues, although the crop is behind last year’s maturity for the same week and also behind the 5-year average.

On soybeans, Indiana Tour participants found an average of 1,298.77pods per 3' x 3' square, compared to 1,169.47 measured by the 2007 Tour. The average pod count came from 133 samples collected by participants.

According to Eastern Tour Crop Consultant, Mark Bernard, “The Hoosier soybean crop has better soil moisture to work with than we saw in Ohio. But they, too, need a couple of good rains before the crop finishes. We wouldn’t want to see an early frost in mid-September, but otherwise, this will be a good bean crop.” In Nebraska, Tour participants measured an average corn yield of 141.82 bu. per acre, compared to 147.11 bu. per acre tabulated during the 2007 Tour. The current-year data is based on 172 samples gathered during field visits.

Western tour director and Pro Farmer editor, Chip Flory, reports, “ About half of our samples came from irrigated fields; half on dryland. The corn seems to be right on schedule for maturity. Most of it is in the dent stage and the milk line is half way down.” But, USDA reported this week only 19% of the statewide corn crop was dented, compared to 46% this time last year.

Western tour crop consultant Terry Johnston concurs, although his scouts picked up some leaf disease evidence. “Still, maturity is not an issue in the southern counties we visited.” Strong sunlight is giving crops plenty of solar activity to add to ear weight.

On soybeans, the Tour measured an average of 1,136.08 pods per 3' x 3' square in Nebraska. That compares to 1,143.69 in a 3' x 3' foot square in 2007.

Johnston says, “We weren’t seeing many blooms—the plants are well into pod set. The dryland needs another rain to help fill this crop. But overall, it is a healthy, average looking crop.” Chip Flory says they ran through areas where aphid populations were high, “but the bean crop is far enough along that damage shouldn’t be severe.”

The western leg of the four-day Tour moves on to sample portions of western Iowa today while the eastern Tour routes will take scouts into more Illinois fields.

Following are links to final data gathered for Indiana and Nebraska by the Tour on Day Two:

Results tables for Indiana.

Results tables for Nebraska.

Links to earlier results from other Tour states;

Results tables for Ohio.

Results tables for South Dakota.


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Professional Farmers of America was founded in 1973 to provide America's leading farmers with a competitive edge in marketing and financial management. The organization delivers timely and accurate market news and analysis through paid subscription newsletters, seminars and online services.

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