Preliminary Day 1 Observations from the Midwest Crop Tour

August 22, 2011 08:56 AM

The eastern leg of the 2011 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour began in Columbus, Ohio, and will meet in Fishers, Indiana. The western leg of the Tour began in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and will meet in Grand Island, Nebraska. Tonight, final results Ohio and South Dakota will be released on Following are preliminary route reports from Tour leaders.

Western Tour leader and Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory this morning sampled in the South Dakota counties of Minnehaha (District 6), Turner and Union (District 9), and in Nebraska counties of Dakota, Thurston and Burt (District 3).

To start his day, Chip's route began with three corn samples above 190 bu. per acre, with his South Dakota route averaging 177 bu. per acre. "They are on the edge of being too dry and it's drier west of where we were today. They need a rain -- sooner the better for both corn and soybeans," said Chip.

Chip says corn maturity is late dough to early dent, with one that was hard dent. "The field that is in hard dent looks like it was pushed a little too much, but still was pretty good," he adds.

Pod counts on his route this morning came in under year-ago but above the three-year average. "Two fields were just filthy with aphids," says Chip."But that was the only real bug or disease issues seen so far today. Once we got down near Lyons, Nebraska, we saw some moisture from last night's rain."

Western Tour consultant Terry Johnston this morning took samples in the South Dakota counties of Hanson, Miner, Sanborn, Davison (District 6), Hutchinson, Charles Mix and Bon Homme (District 9). He reports an average corn yield is 120 bu. per acre so far on this route, with a low of 88 bu. and a high of 180 bushels.

"The corn crop looks pretty good. The crop needs rain after starting out with too much moisture this spring. The crop north of 90 was better and we are running into more moistures stress as we head south," he says. "Most of the crop is in late dough or early dent -- maturity is not an issue."

Terry reports 3 ft. by 3 ft. square averaged 1,035 pods, with a range of 812 to 1,300 pods. "The beans need a rain to fill pods, but the crop is uniform and clean -- no bug or disease issues. The pods that are there are filling," he reports.

Eastern Tour leader and Pro Farmer Senior Market Analyst Brian Grete this morning sampled in the Ohio counties of Marion (District 5), Crawford, Wyandot (District 2), Hancock, Putnum and Allen (District 1). On corn, he reports a route average of 171.14 bu. per acre, with a low of 139.6 bu. per acre and a high of 234.5 bushels.

"The crop so far is pretty green in the area we've been, but a lot of that is because of plant health. The later-planted corn hasn't run out of nitrogen yet and hasn't been stressed by heat and dryness. Soil type seems to be a pretty good indicator of what yields will be," says Brian. "In lesser soils, we are seeing our lower yields. Most of the crop we have seen has been in the milk stage -- so it has a ways to go yet. We took one sample that was starting to dent. All the rest have been in milk."

Brian reports an average pod count in a 3 ft. by 3 ft. square of 831.37 pods. "The beans look okay, and some of the shorter ones were more loaded. The beans are generally short," he says. "A couple of soybean fields have been eaten up by Japanese beetles, but they had been sprayed. One field was blooming, but otherwise we have seen no other blooms on our route today."

Eastern Tour consultant Mark Bernard sampled in Ohio counties of Pickaway, Fayette, Madison (District 5), Clark, Champaign and Logan (District 4). He reports an average corn yield of 170 bu. per acre, with a high of 250 bu. and low of 88 bushels.

"It is extremely variable and maturity is variable. We are seeing anything from milk to dent. Planting date was a big issue in the variability we are seeing," says Mark. "Looking at some of the seed corn signs, some producers planted longer-season varieties later than expected. Otherwise, there isn't a lot of disease or insect issues. Soil moisture in District 5 was excellent, but we're running into moisture issues in District 4. Corn is firing from the bottom and leaves are rolling."

Mark reports pod counts in a 3 ft. by 3 ft. square on his route this morning averaged 1,500 pods. He says the bean crop for the most part looks pretty good, with the exception of some moisture stress the further west they travel. "Pods are pretty flat, so they need some moisture to fill the pods. At least they don't have an insect or disease issue to deal with," he adds.

For additional Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour coverage.

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