Midwest Crop Tour Findings: Day 4

August 20, 2009 07:00 PM

Pro Farmer Editors


The 2009 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour found very good corn yield potential in Iowa and Minnesota. While the Tour found some maturity concerns, data points to impressive yield potential.

The Minnesota corn crop had some areas with holes and some areas where it's hard to find anything wrong with the crop, says Western Tour Director and Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory. USDA's Aug. 1 estimate was up 1.8% from last year's final yield peg of 164 bu. per acre and the Crop Tour corn yield was up 3.9% from last year's Tour results. That means The Tour "found" a few more bushels than did USDA compared to year-ago in Minnesota.

The Crop Tour yield for Minnesota was 185.3 bu. per acre. The Crop Tour consistently measures the crop in Minnesota too big. On average since 2001, the crop has been measured 12.38 bu. too high. The reason is because The Tour doesn't get into traditionally lower-yielding areas in central and even northern Minnesota.

Minnesota's average pod count in a 3' X 3' square was 983.59, down 2.3% from year-ago. But, a slightly lower pod count does not always translate into a lower-than-year-ago bean yield. Moisture availability is undeniably important to the bean crop at this time of the year, and when the scouts come in with mud on their boots (like they did today), you're better off not to underestimate the ability of the bean crop to finish with better-than-expected yields.

"The average pod count in Minnesota -- with the 2.3% drop from year-ago -- suggests the bean crop shouldn't be much better than last year, but the availability of water means it could hit USDA's Aug. 1 estimate of 40 bu. per acre," said Flory

In Iowa, some areas received hail damage and were clearly not going to perform like their undamaged counterparts. But several fields on the route through eastern Iowa had yield potential of more than 200 bu. per acre. Final Iowa corn yield: 180.93 bu. per acre, up 7.5% compared to year-ago on the Tour.

"Iowa crop health was good, yields were good and while the maturity was behind what I recall from last year, it was still generally farther along than any of the rest of the states we sampled on the Eastern leg of the Crop Tour," said Eastern Tour Leader Mark Bernard.

On soybeans, pod counts were again variable as scouts worked their way toward Minnesota. Unlike the fields sampled in Ohio, Indiana and eastern Illinois, the presence of diseases like white mold and mostly SDS were evident on more than a few stops.

Final Iowa soybean pod count: 1197.08, up 9.7% from year-ago and above the three-year average.

Click here for Minnesota Midwest Crop Tour results.
Click here for Iowa 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.

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