On Day 4, the eastern leg of the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour began in Iowa City, Iowa, while the western leg departed from Spencer, Iowa, with both legs heading toward Rochester, Minnesota. Final results Iowa and Minnesota will be released tonight on profarmer.com. Following are preliminary route reports from Tour leaders.
Western Tour Leader and Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory sampled fields in the southern Minnesota counties of Jackson (district 7), Martin, Fairbault and Waseca (district 8). In the southwest district 7 corn samples ranged from 136 bu. per acre to 226 bu. per acre while samples from the south central district (8) ranged from 89 bu. per acre to 187 bu. per acre. Samples pulled so far on his route average 154.2 bu. per acre.
"Nitrogen deficiency can be seen in almost every field," Flory says, so much so that "a nice, dark-green field stands out." Flory says scouts are seeing a low of yellowing plants and yelling down the leaves, which are tell-tale signs of nitrogen deficiency. Flory also explained that the field with the low yield seemed like the farmer made a management decision not to do anything else with it.
"The scary thing," according to Flory, is that most of the corn is in the late-milk to early dough stage, meaning around 45 days until black layer. "That means there's a lot of work to do on corn."
On soybeans, Flory has pulled samples ranging from 218 pods in a 3'x3' square to 1,624, with an average of 859 pods per 3'x3' square. While Flory says he pulled a few 1,200-plus pod samples in Fairbault and he's hear reports of solid pod counts from others scouting Minnesota, he says that a "with the bean crop planted late-May through June, it's going to be tough to build a bean yield."
Eastern Tour Leader and Pro Farmer Senior Market Analyst Brian Grete has sampled the Iowa counties of Benton (district 6), Buchanan, Black Hawk, Bremer and Chickasaw (district 3). Corn samples ranged from 129 bu. per acre to 202 bu. per acre thus far today, with an average yield of 162.2 bu. per acre.
Grete notes that he continues to see a lot of variability with the Iowa crop, along with a many holes in the field. In fact, Grete says his group came across a field that had recently pollinated and will need quite a bit of time to make grain.
Grete's soybean samples today have yielded an average pod count of 1,044.1 in a 3'x3' square. Grete says that while beans in Iowa have been "pretty clean with decent plant health," he says pod counts have been "average to below average."