The second day of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour produced a corn yield estimate in Indiana -- like Ohio -- that came in higher than year-ago
Tour results: Indiana corn yield of 167.06 bu. per acre, compared to 157.35 Bu last year and a 3-year average of 156.45 bushels. Indiana bean pod counts in a 3 foot by 3 foot square totaled 1238.64, compared to 1194.92 last year and a 3-year average of 1221.05 pods. The Tour's Nebraska corn yield is 158.29 Bu per acre, compared to 158.82 Bu last year and a 3-year average of 149.25 bushels. Nebraska pod counts in a 3 foot by 3 foot square totaled 1309.35, compared to 1238.90 last year and a 3-year average of 1172.89 pods.
On the eastern side, corn fields looked very good from the road, but once in the fields, scouts became disappointed in what they saw. Reports of some corn being harvested are coming from eastern Illinois and western Indiana. Corn is more advanced than last year. In western Illinois, the scout group led by Lou Arens, a commodity broker with PCI Advisory Services, pulled back to back corn samples that were already in black layer stage.
Eastern Tour Director, Roger said most of the corn got an early start, but then there was a break in action as Mother Nature tossed rain and cool temperatures at it for May. "That has had some impacts even though our data almost masks it somewhat. Our ear count in 60 foot of row was up from last year by nearly two ears -- 96.48 vs. 94.87 in 2009," he said. :That increase came despite seeing more than a few emergence issues in some fields. And it appears those problems were magnified as the planting was closer and closer to when rains interrupted things for a few weeks in late April. Fields that got the earliest start had the strong populations and likely at the ones that helped push those ear counts up from year-ago."
"There was tip back evident last year as our grain length was lower in 2009, coming in at 6.09 inches. But ears in the Hoosier state this measured on Tour were at 6.41 inches, also above the three-year average. Those two figures are the main factors in the rise in Indiana's corn yield versus year-ago," adds Bernard.
On the western Tour, Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory learned to not pass judgment until all the numbers were in. Although the route in Nebraska he was on suggested a lower-than-year-ago corn yield, once the Tour wrapped up, the average Nebraska yield came in at 158.29 Bu per acre, down just slightly from last year's 158.82 Bu per acre. That's close enough to suggest the same yield potential that as last year on the Tour.
The major difference is no stress on the crop in 2009. This year, the dryland corn is showing some significant moisture stress. That's got to have an impact on yield. Another reason we had a higher average ear count, but a slightly lower yield estimate is because the length of grain per ear came in at 7.29 inches, down from last year's 7.37 inches. The average number of kernel rows around the ear increased to 16.12, compared to 15.94 last year -- but that was offset by an increase in the average row spacing to 31.22 inches, up from last year's 30.88 inches.
When it comes to beans, it's "clean" (free of pests and diseases), it's got plenty of pods for a strong yield and it has the water for a strong finish hopefully proving to be a strong yield. "The Nebraska bean crop is outstanding," stressed Flory. "These guys have got it figured out on soybeans... they know what they're doing and can tweak the bean crop to drive up yields. And with the rain we saw today while sampling, most of the bean crop now has that "one more drink of water" needed to finish strong. Pod counts in Nebraska were up from last year... which is hard to imagine since the crop averaged 54.5 Bu per acre in 2009. And with the crop being mostly disease- and pest-free, Tuesday's rain might just provide enough juice to finish the crop very similar to last year."
Tonight, final results from Illinois will be released.