Get Updates from Corn and Bean Crop Tour!!


Get Updates from Corn and Bean Crop Tour!!

So far, Illinois corn yield is down 6.3{e7e4ba4d9a3c939171d79cae1e3a0df1d41e5a91c3c4158fbb92284b490bc9d3} from 2010.

By Kurt Lawton

SPENCER, Iowa (DTN) — Wide yield swings continue to rule during this year’s Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. The heat has taken a larger toll than expected on ear count, ear size and pollination.

Scouts on the eastern leg of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour estimated Illinois’ corn yield at 155.9 bushels per acre, down 6.3{e7e4ba4d9a3c939171d79cae1e3a0df1d41e5a91c3c4158fbb92284b490bc9d3} from last year’s 166.5 bpa average. This is in contrast to the August 1 USDA prediction that pegged Illinois at 8{e7e4ba4d9a3c939171d79cae1e3a0df1d41e5a91c3c4158fbb92284b490bc9d3} higher than 2010.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, eastern tour organizer Brian Grete asked the crowd if they thought Illinois would make USDA’s estimate. Not one hand was raised.

Scouts saw fields that matured early due to the summer’s heat wave, some pollination issues in late-planted fields and a crop that looked better as they moved towards the Mississippi River.

The soybean estimate from the east was also down from last year at 1,196.4 pods per three-foot square, down 8.6{e7e4ba4d9a3c939171d79cae1e3a0df1d41e5a91c3c4158fbb92284b490bc9d3} from last year’s 1,308.3 pod count. As scouts moved west, crops improved. Many of the lower pod counts came from eastern Illinois with the higher counts coming in east of the Illinois River.

The scout teams in the Western Corn Belt traversed the three western cropping districts of Iowa today. District 1 was estimated at 176.6 bpa, District 4 came in at 172.9 and District 7 at 143.19 (2010 was 170.8, 168.1 and 174.7).

Charlie Johnson, who farms near Wells, Minn., scouted these western Iowa fields and was surprised how much the extreme heat took a toll on the corn crop. “High daytime heat combined with plants that couldn’t cool down at night really reduced ear size. Some fields may look deceivingly good, until you walk out in them and see the smaller ear size, increased lodging and ear tip-back, and inconsistent pollination.”

Soybeans in the western tier crop districts in Iowa recorded 1,104 pods per three-foot square area (District 1), 1,234 pods in District 4, and 1,128 pods in District 7. Last year they were 1,337, 1,507 and 1,427, respectively.

“Aside from the badly hailed beans, the rest of the soybeans looked better than they actually are,” Johnson said. “Branches were not filling out with pods, and pod sizes were not consistently carrying three beans.”

Soybean pod counts on Johnson’s tour in these western three crop districts ranged from a low of 307 pods per three-foot square to 1,609 pods.

Looking at the eastern tour leg, Byron Jones, who farms in McLean County, Ill., took a route due east of Bloomington before turning north to the Quad Cities and through Scott and Cedar County in Iowa.

In Illinois, areas that were dry east of the Illinois River had yields a little bit lower than average. West of the Illinois River, farmers planted fuller season hybrids, which were higher yielding as far as scouts’ estimates went. Scouts also noted much better soil conditions, higher ear counts and bigger ears.

“East of the Illinois River, in Indiana and Ohio crops were planted late by as much as three weeks. Its maturity was pushed by hot weather,” Jones said. Yields suffered the consequences. Crop estimates for Indiana’s crop was down more than 14{e7e4ba4d9a3c939171d79cae1e3a0df1d41e5a91c3c4158fbb92284b490bc9d3} from the previous tour at 143.1 bpa. Ohio’s estimate was 156.26, down from 165.6 the year prior.

In Johnson’s western tour scout group, their jaunt started in southwest Iowa in District 7: Fremont (153 and 160 bpa), Montgomery (154 and zero), Mills (109 bpa), Cass (182 and 204 bpa) and Adair (157 and 163 bpa) counties. Those first three counties were hammered by severe winds and hail last week, leaving many scouts to wonder how many of these fields will actually be harvestable.

Crossing north of Interstate 80 into District 4, scouts recorded yields of 191 and 153 bpa in Guthrie County; 163 in Greene; 238 in Carroll; 158 and 210 in Calhoun; and 193 bpa in Sac County. Then further north into District 1 saw a 197 bpa posted in Pocahontas; 234 in Buena Vista and 191 in Clay County.

The eastern tour group also entered Iowa Wednesday afternoon, from the east. “There was some disappointment in Iowa,” Jones said. “It left some to be desired in length of ears and size of kernels than western Illinois.” His route saw their highest and lowest yields in Iowa, with 125.6 bpa in Cedar county and 216.5 in Scott County.

“But in Iowa, at this point planting date isn’t going to severely affect the crop,” Jones said since it was planted only a week or two late and was carried to a more typical maturity level by several weeks of warm weather.

Jones’ route estimated their Illinois average yield at 174.8 bpa based on nine stops. Their Iowa estimate, based on four stops, came in at 164.7 bpa.

“Soybeans showed a little more disease but not near anything we saw last year,” Jones said. Scouts in western Illinois and eastern Iowa saw a lot of soybean sudden death syndrome last year. Jones saw one field with very mild SDS on Wednesday.

His route’s pod counts were higher than last year’s at 1,467 pods per 3 foot square, which compares to last year’s estimates of 1,241 to 1,345 depending on the district. In Iowa, the scouts sampled four fields, one with a 2,568 pod count that brought the average up to 1,610 pods.

Thursday night DTN will update you on the final day’s yield estimates and observation from Iowa and southern Minnesota. Katie Micik (eastern leg) and Kurt Lawton (western leg) will also post field updates on Twitter. You can follow them @KatieMDTN and @kdlawton. More scouts will be posting updates using the hashtag #pftour11.


© Copyright 2011 DTN/The Progressive Farmer, A Telvent Brand. All rights reserved.

Posted with DTN Permission by Haylie Shipp

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