What a Difference a Rain Makes

August 20, 2012 05:31 AM

Even within the same county, yields estimates are extremely varied through South Dakota.


The 44 scouts that left Sioux Falls, S.D., this morning as part of the 2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour got wet, but only because of dew. While parts of the areas around Sioux Falls have received rain recently, the odds are unlikely it will actually help the state’s corn crop.

"A lot of fields are just running out of water," says Ken Eckhart, a farmer from Minnesota Lake, Minn. Lack of rain has caused major problems and extreme variability for the South Dakota corn crop, he says.

Eckhart’s group made six stops in South Dakota. Two corn samples from Lincoln County perfectly showed the variability in this year’s crop.

Field 1: A lot of ears were missing in this corn field. The ones we found were very small with poor pollination. Yield estimate for this field was 39.8 bu./acre.

Lincoln County SD 1

Field 2: The majority of this field was harvested for silage. Yet, what was left looked to have above-average yield potential. Yield estimate came in at 151.8 bu./acre.

Lincoln County SD 2


After the six stops, the car’s average corn yield estimate is slightly below 100 bu./acre. In South Dakota last year, the state average was 132 bu./acre. In 2010, it was 135 bu./acre.

Scouts are traveling nine routes through southeastern South Dakota and parts of Nebraska today. They will convene in Grand Island, Neb., to share yield estimates for South Dakota and parts of Nebraska.

This year's Tour kicked off Sunday evening in Sioux Falls, S.D., for the western leg and Columbus, Ohio, for the eastern leg. In the West, Crop Tour scouts will sample fields along a route that departs from Sioux Falls, S.D., and travels through Grand Island, Neb.; Nebraska City, Neb.; Spencer, Iowa; and finally convenes in Owatonna, Minn.

In the East, scouts will leave Columbus, Ohio, then journey through Fishers, Ind.; Bloomington, Ill.; Iowa City, Iowa; and meet up with the other scouts in Owatonna, Minn.
On Friday, Pro Farmer will release its national-average yield and production estimates for both corn and soybeans. To follow coverage of the event, visit www.agweb.com and www.ProFarmer.com.
For More Information
Learn more about the 2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. Follow along on Twitter with the hash tag #pftour12.
Take your own field measurements and participate in Pro Farmer’s Virtual Crop Tour


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