Midwest Crop Tour Findings: Day 4

August 21, 2008 07:00 PM
2008 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

Minnesota is looking at better corn yield prospects than a year ago; Iowa will see a slight downturn, based on data gathered by experienced crop scouts on this week’s Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.

In Iowa, over the past two days, Tour participants measured corn yields at an average of 168.33 bushels per acre based on 325 samples. This compares to a 167.67 bu. per acre yield measured by the Tour in 2007, and an official statewide average of 171 bu. per acre last year.

Western tour director and Pro Farmer editor, Chip Flory, says, "Iowa is a good example of how the crop has been living on the edge all season. It continues to live day-to-day. Without rain soon, we are going to see ear weights continue to trend lower, robbing additional yield. The Iowa story is not over."

On soybeans, Iowa Tour participants found an average of 1,091.25 pods per 3' x 3' square, compared to 1,218.40 measured by the 2007 Tour. The average pod count came from 311 samples collected by participants.

That 10% drop in pod count for this year tells only part of the story. Crop scouts figure the Iowa soybean crop has reached a tipping point. Rains either make it better, or it goes in the tank. August rainfall totals in Iowa have only been half of normal. That is punishing the crop now, and it can't make up for all of that lost time, especially with the trend of below-average daytime temperatures and cool evenings. Not what soybeans need right now.

In Minnesota, Tour participants measured an average corn yield of 178.35 bu. per acre, compared to 169.07 bu. per acre tabulated during the 2007 Tour. The current-year data is based on 133 samples gathered on Thursday.

For Minnesota soybeans, the Tour measured an average of 1,006.58 pods per 3' x 3' square. That compares to 1,030.10 in a 3' x 3' foot square in 2007.

"We were stunned by how dry it is in Minnesota," according to Chip Flory. "We've watched dryness in the eastern Corn Belt. Minnesota shocked us! We were pulling ear samples in Minnesota, and noticed remnant pollen was still on the leaves. It hadn't rained enough since pollination to wash pollen off the leaves! We saw heavy plant populations, but ear length is going to be very short. Hopefully they'll have enough short ears to add up. But we have our doubts. Too late for rains to mean much to corn; could still give soybeans a much-needed boost."

Over the four-day, seven-state Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, more than 80 scout participants pulled more than 1,060 samples from corn fields and a nearly identical number of soybean samples for their calculations. The week-long tour was co-sponsored with support from Pioneer Hi-Bred and John Deere Crop Insurance.

Following are links to final data gathered for Iowa and Minnesota by the Tour on Day Four:

Results tables for Iowa.

Results tables for Minnesota.

Links to earlier results from other Tour states:

Results table for Illinois.

Results tables for Indiana.

Results tables for Nebraska.

Results tables for Ohio.

Results tables for South Dakota.


About Pro Farmer

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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