The eastern leg of the 2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour began in Bloomington, Illinois and travels to Iowa City, Iowa. The western leg of the Tour began in Nebraska City, Nebraska and travels to Spencer, Iowa. Tonight, final results for Illinois will be released on www.profarmer.com. Following are preliminary route reports from Tour leaders.
Western Tour Leader and Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory has sampled in the Iowa counties of Page, Montgomery, Cass, Pottawattamie (District 7), Shelby and Audubon (District 4). His morning corn samples (bu. per acre) are: 81.1, 128.9, 184.2, 168.1, 169.8, 172.8 and 122.8 for an average of 147 bu. per acre. Chip reports that a field of 114-day corn was being harvested near Atlantic, Iowa. "But what we really need to be aware of is the kernel size. I would say that it's conservative that smaller-than-normal kernel size will knock off another 5% from yield estimates," says Chip.
On his route, soybean pod counts in a 3'X3' square were 526, 915, 1,951, 950, 861, 1,757 and 482 for an average of 1,063. "Pod counts have recovered some from South Dakota and Nebraska, but we're probably coming in where we were a year-ago. Seed size is fine now, but they sure need a drink of water or risk shriveling up," adds Chip.
Western Tour Consultant Jason Franck has pulled samples in the Iowa counties of Fremont, Mills, Pottawattamie (District 7), Shelby, Crawford, Ida (District 4) and Cherokee (District 1). Yields have ranged from 44.28 bu. to 178.51 bu. per acre, with an average of 135 bu. per acre. "As we moved into the southern part of Iowa, we saw more harvested acres. As we move north, stalk quality is one of the biggest issues as the plant is pushing everything it can toward the ear and robbing from the stalk to do that. As we have moved north, things are better and healthier and more consistent with better yield potential," he says.
Soybean pod counts in a 3'X3' square ranged 336 to 1,500, with an average of 836.33 for Jason. Disappointed by the pod counts, Jason says, "Soybeans have been a shocker because we are surprised by the poor pod counts. The cluster of pods on the plants simply are not there. While fields still look fairly good, the numbers don't represent what we are seeing from the road. It's a real disappointment in the soybean fields today," he says.
Eastern Tour Leader and Pro Farmer Senior Market Analyst Brian Grete has sampled in the Illinois counties of McLean, Woodford, Tazewell, Stark, Marshall (District 4) and Bureau (District 1). He reports yields ranging 73 bu. to 209.5 bu. per acre for an average around 137.3 bu. per acre. "We saw some better stuff than last year, but still not up to average standards," says Brian. "We saw some good, solid corn fields, but the bulk of them were below what you would expect from this area. Standability is a major issue, and there will be some fields that won't be able to harvest what we are finding today."
Soybean pod counts in a 3'X3' square ranged 518 to 2,361, for an average around 892. We're seeing a little poorer soybeans in relation to the corn potential. I'm not sure what is causing that, but the beans simply aren't handling the stress. I think it's a situation where just a few pockets of rain were seen, but of course it's generally been dry," he says.
Eastern Tour Consultant Mark Bernard has sampled in the Illinois counties of Christian, Montgomery, Macoupin, Greene, Scott and Pike (District 6). Corn samples have ranged 70 bu. to 201 bu. per acre, with an average around 145 bu. per acre. "A lot of corn that has been under some extreme drought stress -- especially south of Decatur -- is being harvested. And as we hit the Iowa border, we are still seeing some fields that are being harvested. Kernel depth doesn't appear to be very great in a lot of cases."
Soybean pod counts in a 3'X3' square range 688 to 1,298, with an average around 1,010. "We are really seeing some nice looking bean fields, and they just received some timely rains to improve plant health and encourage more pods," he says. "It looks like a fairly decent bean crop considering the drought stress it has been under."
For More Information
See full coverage of the 2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, hosted by Pro Farmer.
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