Variability is Theme at Harvest

November 7, 2015 02:47 AM

It will be a few weeks before average yields are tallied. In the meantime, it’s apparent yields are as erratic as ever. Here’s a sampling of farmer reports from various states. Read more at submit your own report by sending an email to

Macoupin County, Ill.
In the eastern Corn Belt, farmers are seeing yields much lower than historical averages. “All I can say is pitiful,” said a Macoupin County, Ill., farmer on AgWeb. Our 2014 average was 242.9 bu. per acre. This year: a pitiful 122.7 bu. I think USDA is a little off on their estimates.”

Palo Alto County, Iowa
Great crops and weather. Above-average yields for our area. Lots of corn went down with strong winds and stalk rot. Fungicide made a huge difference this year. Due to low crop prices, not as much fungicide was applied. Low prices will cure low prices, so tie a knot and hang on. 

Barron County, Wis.
Yields have run 20% more than 2014 on a dry-matter basis. This should equate to higher grain yields as 50% of dry matter is a direct result of ear size and weight. Selecting hybrids based on genetic disease-resistance paid off handsomely this year. Fungicide application did not help much. Soybean harvest is showing some early outstanding yields, with many reports of 50 bu. per acre and higher. Disease and insect pressure have been light, and August rainfall pushed bean size. This had the largest impact on soybean yields.

Montgomery County, Mo.
Flooding rains hit hard this spring. Corn yields average 100 bu. per acre. Soybeans are surprisingly good at 50 bu. per acre. Plants are short but podded like crazy. Hail-damaged soybeans always seem to set more pods. Wheat zeroed out from vomitoxin, sprouted and had low test weight. Sowing wheat in dust, bins will bust—hopefully. 

South Carolina & North Carolina
Of all the cotton-growing states, North and South Carolina have been hit particularly hard with heavy rains and flooding. More than half of North Carolina’s cotton is in fair to poor condition, and South Carolina’s crop is in even worse shape, with 78% rated fair to poor.

Waterville, Ohio
As many have feared, the corn crop is proving to be especially variable for Ohio farmers. “One neighbor had a field with 230 bu. per acre corn. We had one field yield 120 bu. per acre. We will probably average 100 bu. per acre with corn, and see soybeans in the 40-bu. range,” said Ohio farmer Mike Hannewald. “In some fields, we harvested what we expected and in other cases, we were pleasantly surprised by yields.” 

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