Preliminary Day 4 Observations from the Midwest Crop Tour

01:36PM Aug 25, 2011
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The eastern leg of the 2011 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour began in Iowa City, Iowa, and the western leg began in Spencer, Iowa. Both legs of the Tour will travel to Austin, Minn., for the final meeting. Tonight, final results Iowa and Minnesota will be released on Following are preliminary route reports from Tour leaders.

Western Tour leader and Pro Farmer editor Chip Flory and western Tour consultant Terry Johnston are traveling together today. They have pulled samples in the Minnesota counties of Jackson (District 7), Martin, Watonwan, Blue Earth and Faribault (District 8). They report that corn yields have ranged 133 bu. to 229 bu. per acre, with an average of 170 bu.

"The theme throughout south central Minnesota is that it's too dry. We're looking at a lot of soil moisture ratings in '2' because there are big cracks in the ground. The stress is there," Chip says. "The corn crop looks like it put on big yield potential early, but is now just trying to hold on."

He adds, "It looks like Minnesota will go through a 2010-like finish."

The two report that soybean pod counts in a 3'x3' square have ranged from 1,081 to 1,660. "It's virtually the same story for the bean crop," Chip says. "It's too dry, except the stress kicked in early enough that it impacted the number of beans per pods. It's not like it's a disaster, but it does look like it's leaning down on the number of beans per pod. That has an impact."

Eastern Tour leader and Pro Farmer senior market analyst Brian Grete has sampled in the Iowa counties of Iowa, Benton (District 6), Black Hawk (District 3), Grundy (District 5) and Butler (District 2). He reports an average corn yield sample of 175.8 bu. per acre, with a range of 150 bu. to 213.8 bu. per acre.

"The moisture situation is good up here after early week rains rolled through," Brian says. "We have seen Goss's wilt and lodging all the way today -- quite prevalent at nearly every stop. We've seen some tipback on the ears, but no real pollination problems. Ear populations have been consistently strong -- although down slightly from what we'd like to see in this area."

Bean pod counts in a 3'x3' square averaged 1,285.3 on his route this morning, with a low of 734 and a high of 2,053. "In general, the beans are highly variable in terms of pod counts, but the overall assessment is that they are about where they need to be to pull the Iowa average up," Brian says.

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