The third day of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour produced official results from Illinois.
After all the samples were calculated, the Tour found an average corn yield for Illinois at 166.53 bu. per acre, down 0.4% from 167.17 Bu per acre measured last year. Scouts were a bit surprised since USDA on Aug. 1 projected the Illinois yield up 3.45% from year-ago. Grain length is probably the key. Our data revealed an average grain length in the state of 6.2 inches compared to 6.47 inches last year.
For soybeans, scouts found a whopping 1308.31 pods in a 3ftx3ft. square, up 18.6% from the 1102.80 pods measured last year. But remember last year's result was quite a decline from 2008, too. So that brought things back nicely.
Eastern Tour director Roger Bernard said scouts reported some SDS in soybean fields, but not to the extent they saw in some portions of Indiana. Still, it's probably going to be a factor we'll have to watch next year and beyond in Illinois.
In crop district 7 (southwest Iowa), the end result was a corn yield of 174.38 Bu per acre, down 4.8% from last year's Tour results for the district. In crop district 4 (west-central Iowa), the end result was an 11.4% drop from last year's average Tour yield in west-central Iowa at 168.18 Bu per acre. In crop district 1 (northwest Iowa), the end result was a yield of 170.88 Bu per acre, down 7.6% from last year.
"I know... these numbers might be a little shocking for a state that USDA estimated down just 1.65% from last year's final yield for the state. But these are the numbers for just one-third of the state. The eastern leg of the Tour will cover the eastern TWO-THIRDS of Iowa on Thursday as they make their way to Austin, Minnesota today," said Chip Flory.
For the bean crop, Iowa crop district 7 pods in a 3-by-3-foot square were up 11.2% from last year; crop district 4 was up (ready for this!?!) 24.1% from year-ago; Iowa crop district 7 had a pod count that was up 11.2% from year-ago. Huge pod counts do not always translate into big yields, with the main reason being SDS – Sudden Death Syndrome.
Tonight, scouts from the eastern and western sides of the Tour will meet in Austin, Minnesota, with results from Iowa and Minnesota released tonight.