Samples from South Dakota show average to below-average corn ear and soybean pods counts.
Poor planting conditions, uneven soybean emergence and considerable heat damage during pollination is how Ken Eckhardt, a farmer from Minnesota, Lake Minn., describes the South Dakota crops this year.
Eckhardt is traveling one of eight routes through South Dakota and Nebraska today as part of the 2011 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.
In South Dakota, the four rough corn estimates taken ranged from 105 bu./acre to 251 bu./acre., with an average of 144.2 bu./acre. The samples were taken in Aurora, Douglas and Charles Mix counties.
Last year, Pro Farmer’s South Dakota rough yield estimate was 143.59 bu./acre. The three-year average for the state is 146.06. Normally, around 50 samples are taken in South Dakota.
The corn field that was estimated to yield more than 250 bu./acre was very immature. "I would doubt it could withstand a normal frost," says Eckhardt, who has served as a crop scout on the Tour for three years.
For soybeans, the average pods in a 3-foot by 3-foot square, from the four South Dakota samples, was 696.4.
During the 2010 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, the average pods in a 3' by 3' square was 1,262.3, and the three-year average is 1,034.9.
Terry Johnston, crop consultant for the western leg of the Tour, is traveling another one of the eight routes. "The crops overall are pretty good," he says.
Johnston’s route traveled north and south of I-90, which divides South Dakota. It also divided the good-looking crops from the not-so-good-looking crops, he says.
"Beans are clean overall, no real insect or disease pressure," he says. "The further south we got, we saw more heat stress and less moisture."
Overall, he says, pod counts and ear counts were well under the USDA state averages for the area.
"It looks good, but it’s not as good as last year. There’s no need to panic but it doesn’t look like it will yield as good as last year," he says. "It all needs a rain."
Each day, observations and yield estimates will be released for each of the surveyed states. You can find from-the-field reports and data on www.agweb.com throughout the Tour, which wraps up on Thursday.
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2011 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour