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Archive for August, 2011

Posted by: Anna Kaverman – Mercer Landmark

August 25, 2011

By: Julianne Johnston, Editor

Following are final Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour results from Iowa:

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Iowa Corn
2011 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
IA1 102.93 6.58 15.92 30.27 176.64 45
IA2 102.82 6.41 16.09 30.00 176.73 34
IA3 100.88 6.39 15.81 30.33 168.79 48
IA4 101.12 6.43 16.19 30.29 172.96 49
IA5 98.05 6.30 15.95 30.15 162.01 39
IA6 96.21 6.59 15.96 30.21 168.00 67
IA7 88.61 6.06 16.28 29.90 143.19 39
IA8 95.52 6.32 15.11 30.52 145.65 23
IA9 102.54 6.10 15.08 30.25 149.20 24
Iowa Average 98.61 6.39 15.90 30.21 164.62 368
3-year avg. by district Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
IA 1 101.60 6.57 16.26 30.56 176.86 40
IA 2 102.17 6.55 16.30 30.09 180.52 25
IA 3 98.72 6.63 16.15 30.21 175.26 32
IA 4 98.72 6.72 16.11 30.21 177.51 40
IA 5 100.28 6.51 15.87 30.30 171.84 34
IA 6 98.65 6.59 16.26 30.48 174.19 50
IA 7 93.35 6.94 16.16 30.10 174.64 42
IA 8 86.48 6.50 15.43 29.99 145.55 16
IA 9 96.88 6.51 15.89 30.78 165.46 28
IA Average 97.96 6.63 16.09 30.33 172.90 307

 

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Iowa Soybeans
2011 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
IA1 847.74 3.30 5.00 28.02 1104.27 44
IA2 848.28 3.94 5.09 25.71 1232.20 33
IA3 738.76 4.46 5.00 22.93 1218.65 48
IA4 779.93 3.56 4.98 22.91 1251.09 52
IA5 872.98 3.19 4.94 24.17 1309.95 36
IA6 750.13 3.98 4.89 21.31 1311.88 55
IA7 590.26 4.24 4.71 18.85 1128.13 41
IA8 670.52 3.79 5.00 21.05 1203.82 19
IA9 610.27 1.61 4.96 18.70 1167.44 23
Iowa Average 754.79 3.67 4.94 22.81 1221.94 351
3-year avg. by district Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
IA 1 846.42 3.78 4.80 27.03 1180.16 38
IA 2 817.30 3.71 4.60 26.88 1105.61 25
IA 3 733.37 4.29 4.94 24.47 1106.07 31
IA 4 770.97 3.89 4.77 22.89 1269.77 40
IA 5 775.76 4.16 4.72 23.06 1264.43 34
IA 6 719.52 4.00 4.69 21.09 1262.91 45
IA 7 675.95 3.69 4.71 19.83 1289.95 39
IA 8 669.17 4.03 4.06 23.26 1109.57 14
IA 9 680.98 3.98 4.47 21.48 1178.29 26
IA Average 744.36 3.94 4.69 23.06 1211.94 293

Pro Farmer Senior Market Analyst and eastern Tour director Brian Grete had this to say about the fields in eastern and central Iowa: “The corn yields, while consistently better than most of the yields pulled from Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, weren’t nearly strong enough. Soybean pod counts were also improved, although they were variable.”

Grete reports that soybean counts on his route were all over the board, but they were consistently insect-free.

However, Eastern Tour consultant Mark Bernard says he saw more disease pressure in soybeans yesterday. He also notes that Goss’s wilt was “scary in some fields… It wasn’t hard to find it in every one of our corn fields.”

Posted by: Anna Kaverman – Mercer Landmark

August 25, 2011

By: Julianne Johnston, Editor
Following are final Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour results from Minnesota:

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Minnesota Corn
2011 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
MN4 94.50 7.38 15.65 30.00 181.71 2
MN5 88.00 6.29 14.82 28.00 147.51 4
MN7 93.81 6.80 15.62 28.83 172.85 48
MN8 101.83 6.43 15.81 28.90 179.02 60
MN9 104.37 6.41 16.09 30.22 178.34 27
Minn. Average 99.09 6.56 15.77 29.12 175.93 141
3-year avg. by district Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
MN 4 94.78 6.57 15.88 27.43 181.75 5
MN 5 97.69 6.49 16.23 28.32 181.51 10
MN 7 100.44 6.68 15.96 29.53 181.36 43
MN 8 99.59 6.64 16.20 29.20 183.61 67
MN 9 103.90 6.65 15.96 29.53 185.66 18
MN Average 100.07 6.64 16.09 29.21 183.04 143

 

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Minnesota Soybeans
2011 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
MN4 827.30 3.00 5.00 15.00 2638.08 2
MN5 785.80 3.00 5.00 27.50 1014.06 4
MN7 796.14 3.06 4.79 25.06 1157.18 48
MN8 744.04 2.60 4.98 25.74 1039.74 60
MN9 746.29 3.04 5.00 24.02 1157.41 27
Minn. Average 764.57 2.86 4.92 25.08 1124.20 141
3-year avg. by district Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
MN 4 631.11 2.90 4.93 24.20 1101.58 5
MN 5 781.14 3.18 4.91 28.78 978.09 10
MN 7 673.61 3.71 4.81 23.51 1040.22 41
MN 8 792.93 3.68 4.76 26.30 1103.24 66
MN 9 633.59 3.73 4.74 21.42 1105.28 17
MN Average 737.56 3.66 4.79 25.05 1076.64 140

Western Tour consultant Terry Johnston says it was evident that it had been some time since the areas of Minnesota he sampled had received significant rain. He says, “While ear counts were good, most lacked length and virtually every one had tip-back.”

Johnston says the bean fields in Minnesota were mostly disease and insect free, as has been the case for most of the Tour. He says, “The Minnesota bean crop has good potential, but it will take timely rains over a significant area to help it realize that full potential.”

Thursday night marked the conclusion of the 19th annual Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. The Pro Farmer Newsletter, which will be released at 1:30 p.m. CT today, will contain Pro Farmer’s U.S. 2011 corn and soybean crop estimates. These numbers are based on Tour data and other factors.

Posted by Anna Kaverman – Mercer Landmark

August 25, 2011

By: Meghan Pedersen, Pro Farmer Reporter

The third day of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour ended with results from Illinois and western Iowa being released. Tour results for Illinois found an average corn yield of 155.99 bu. per acre and pod counts in a 3’x3’ square totaled 1,196.04 pods.

Complete results for Iowa will not be released until this evening, but corn samples from Districts 1, 4 and 7 showed an average yield of 176.64 Bu, 172.96 Bu and 143.19 Bu per acre, respectively. Total pod counts for Districts 1, 4 and 7 in a 3’x3′ square were came in at 1,104.27, 1,234.52, and 1,128.13 pods, respectively.

On his trek through Illinois, Pro Farmer Senior Market Analyst and eastern Tour director Brian Grete says, “While scouts found many more instances of good crops on Day 3, there were still plenty of disappointments.”

For Illinois’s soybean crop, specifically, Grete says it was “generally healthier and more podded than I had seen the first two days of Tour.” Nevertheless, the final Illinois soybean pod count in a 3’x3’ square of 1,196.04 is down 8.6% from the prior year. The Tour’s average corn yield for the state at 155.99 Bu per acre is down 6.3% from 2010.

Eastern Tour consultant Mark Bernard explains, “We saw yields vary from a high of 227 Bu per acre in Marshall County. On the next stop in the same county, we also recorded our low yield for the day at 94 Bu per acre.” In the corn crop, Bernard did come across fields with what looked to be the start of anthracnose stalk rot and Goss’s wilt, but he says these fields were far enough along that yield impact should be negligible.

Of what he describes as a “so-so” bean crop, Bernard notes, “The soybean pods we looked at today were slightly farther along than what we saw the previous two days. They may need to be as Illinois is subject to the cold air we Minnesotans like to send them after we’re through with it.”

Bernard says disease pressure in Illinois soybean fields was light and elaborates, “After looking over some comments from last year’s Crop Tour, one thing of note was the relative lack of soybean disease.”

Pro Farmer Editor and western Tour director Chip Flory says what he saw in the southwest corner of Iowa (District 7) was sobering. He elaborates that he saw the absolute worst hail damage he’s ever seen… anywhere. “This is the 19th Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour… and I went on four tours before we started running it. That means I’ve been on 23 crop tours… Tens of thousands of acres are impacted and some (more than some, really) will see absolutely zero yield. Those will be “new” Failed Acres on FSA Certified Acre report when they update the file in September,” he says.

Western Tour consultant Terry Johnston says the extent of the damage was shocking. “The damage is not isolated; it covers several counties in southwest and south-central Iowa. I can’t remember seeing this much serious storm damage over such a large area in all my years on the Crop Tour.”

As the Tour moved north, the corn crop did improve. Districts 4 and 1 showed average corn yields compared to year ago. But this is where Johnston says he disagrees with the Tour “just a bit.” He explains, “The crop in the west central and northwest crop districts has the potential to be better than last year. But it seems like there are too many ‘nicks’ to yield (wind damage, dry conditions, some disappointing ear counts). Those ‘nicks’ might keep the corn crop from equaling last year’s corn yield. It just doesn’t seem like the corn crop has the potential to equal last year.”

Johnston and Flory agree that the soybeans in western Iowa are much the same as the rest of the Tour — the crop is mostly disease and insect free, but it needs rain. If showers come, the soybeans should finish strong.

On Thursday, Tour scouts on the eastern leg begin their day in Iowa City, Iowa, and western Tour scouts begin their day in Spencer, Iowa. Both legs of the Tour will meet in Austin, Minnesota, Final results from Iowa and Minnesota will be released this evening on ProFarmer.com and AgWeb.com.

Posted by: Anna Kaverman – Mercer Landmark

August 23, 2011

By: Julianne Johnston, Editor

Following are final Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour results from Nebraska:

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Nebraska Corn
2011 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
NE2 82.75 6.53 16.48 31.50 143.44 4
NE3 83.90 7.20 15.94 30.44 157.60 41
NE5 88.00 7.40 15.96 32.67 155.48 18
NE6 83.40 7.37 16.02 31.04 157.22 75
NE8 88.91 7.23 16.14 33.27 153.71 11
NE9 79.09 7.05 16.19 30.79 146.31 56
NE Avg. 83.01 7.23 16.06 31.12 153.70 205
3-year avg. by district Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
NE 2 77.37 6.44 15.07 31.52 121.19 7
NE 3 79.32 7.19 15.98 30.49 153.56 34
NE 5 94.23 7.17 16.60 33.62 166.97 13
NE 6 86.13 7.14 16.02 31.22 158.24 55
NE 8 86.09 7.23 16.21 31.98 156.68 14
NE 9 78.12 7.20 16.24 30.57 148.11 68
NE Avg. 82.58 7.16 16.12 31.09 152.98 191

 

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Nebraska Beans
2011 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
NE2 374.40 4.50 5.00 22.50 558.90 2
NE3 840.61 4.48 4.78 22.45 1373.31 40
NE5 907.30 3.65 4.65 30.53 1127.87 17
NE6 836.18 4.27 4.95 23.45 1333.82 73
NE8 1053.84 3.64 5.00 25.64 1429.31 11
NE9 769.30 3.88 4.95 23.25 1210.19 57
NE Average 831.40 4.12 4.89 23.90 1286.48 200
3-year Avg. by district Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
NE 2 660.32 3.22 4.83 20.69 1084.03 5
NE 3 721.28 3.81 4.57 22.24 1211.77 33
NE 5 939.70 4.01 4.80 27.56 1284.90 12
NE 6 844.43 3.91 4.64 25.36 1221.07 55
NE 8 1074.47 4.41 4.93 28.22 1331.56 14
NE 9 776.08 3.67 4.68 23.98 1199.72 66
NE Average 820.35 3.83 4.67 24.56 1227.11 185

The Nebraska corn crop is another story… Western Tour consultant Terry Johnston notes there were some health issues with the crop — gray leaf spot, rust, insect pressure, hail and green snap damage – but Flory and Johnston both note that disappointing ear populations are the most significant concern.

Flory points out that ear pops are down 2% from last year, and “it is very difficult to make up for an ‘ear that isn’t there’ with increased grain length or a higher number of kernel rows. Ears matter most.”

Johnston says the cause of the lower ear populations probably goes back to planting season. An early weather rollercoaster led to staggered emergence, and Johnston explains that when a plant emerges up to a week behind the two seeds planted next to it, the plant is “late to the party. Not only that, but its neighbors are probably going to beat it up for most of the growing season and steal everything that plant needs to make an ear.”

Addressing the hope that the western Belt’s yields would make up for damage in the east, Flory says, “I think it’s safe to say the eastern Belt’s lost bushels are not being found in the western Corn Belt.”

On Wednesday, Tour scouts on the eastern leg will begin their day in Bloomington, Illinois, traveling to Iowa City, Iowa. Western Tour scouts will travel from Nebraska City, Nebraska, to Spencer, Iowa. Final results from Illinois and western Iowa will be released this evening on ProFarmer.com and AgWeb.com.

Posted by: Anna Kaverman – Mercer Landmark

August 23, 2011

By: Julianne Johnston, Editor

Following are final Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour results from Indiana:

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Indiana Corn
2011 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
IN1 94.82 6.05 15.55 30.00 147.17 22
IN2 98.89 5.36 15.52 30.00 140.77 18
IN3 88.59 5.43 14.71 30.00 127.26 17
IN4 85.48 5.75 15.74 27.24 145.37 21
IN5 90.18 6.29 15.56 30.42 145.59 38
IN6 93.05 5.96 15.72 30.00 147.11 20
IN Average 91.58 5.89 15.50 29.69 143.10 136
3-year avg. by district Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
IN 1 95.33 6.50 15.92 29.92 165.58 19
IN 2 92.17 6.57 16.32 30.14 163.03 15
IN 3 99.01 5.98 15.82 30.00 155.03 15
IN 4 93.95 6.46 16.15 28.93 171.25 19
IN 5 96.26 6.31 16.05 29.93 162.72 34
IN 6 95.99 6.12 16.03 30.07 156.25 20
IN Average 95.56 6.33 16.05 29.82 162.74 123

 

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Indiana Beans
2011 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
IN1 523.04 3.14 4.91 16.82 1158.39 22
IN2 526.72 3.33 4.81 16.36 1120.82 18
IN3 549.58 2.69 4.88 15.53 1159.78 16
IN4 521.60 2.19 4.95 17.29 1161.23 21
IN5 449.23 2.58 4.63 14.24 1169.59 38
IN6 367.03 2.33 4.29 12.98 1031.53 21
Indiana Average 481.71 2.68 4.72 15.36 1137.56 136
3-year avg. by district Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
IN 1 547.79 3.42 4.73 17.68 1190.49 19
IN 2 528.99 3.24 4.81 16.30 1253.49 15
IN 3 391.03 2.71 4.34 14.11 1094.74 15
IN 4 503.80 3.07 4.85 13.80 1389.11 19
IN 5 520.44 2.95 4.72 15.11 1282.42 34
IN 6 422.00 2.34 4.59 13.78 1188.62 20
IN Average 491.07 2.96 4.70 15.08 1244.11 123

 On the eastern leg of the Tour through Indiana, Pro Farmer Senior Market Analyst and eastern Tour director Brian Grete notes that “stress and crops that were pushed on maturity were the feature of day two.”

Grete explains that “out of necessity, producers in this area rushed to get their crops in after a very wet spring, and there was evidence of that in many of the fields sampled by Tour scouts. Skips in rows and blank stocks were routinely noted in scouting reports from day two. Plant health, especially for the corn crop, was also a noted issue.”

Eastern Tour consultant Mark Bernard notes that “being a bug, weed and disease guy, I was in my element today.” He says, “On the corn we found gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight and common rust. There was of course some nitrogen deficiency, along with some lodging where western corn rootworm beetles were prevalent.”

Indiana’s soybean crop was also unimpressive. “The number of plants was generally low and/or the plants were lacking big pod numbers,” Grete says.

Bernard adds that with a lot of flat pods remaining, “it will take some rain in order for these fields to maintain the pods they have.”

He also points out that Japanese beetles and spider mites, aphids and sudden death syndrome (SDS) are also trimming yields.

Posted by Anna Kaverman- Mercer Landmark

August 22, 2011

By: Julianne Johnston, Editor

Following are final Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour results from South Dakota:

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — S.D. Corn
2011 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
SD5 69.00 8.42 17.30 20.00 251.27 1
SD6 91.83 6.70 15.99 31.00 160.73 12
SD9 80.35 6.34 15.26 30.31 127.81 26
S Dak. Average 83.59 6.50 15.54 30.26 141.10 39
3-year avg. by district Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
SD 5 65.17 7.14 15.90 31.33 119.53 2
SD 6 83.65 6.57 15.51 30.06 147.39 18
SD 9 82.61 6.77 15.97 31.03 146.45 29
SD Average 82.52 6.72 15.79 30.69 146.06 49

 

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — S.D. Beans
2011 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
SD5 745.60 5.00 5.00 30.00 894.72 1
SD6 872.95 3.67 4.58 27.38 1158.89 12
SD9 767.18 3.42 4.58 26.56 1090.71 26
S Dak. Average 799.17 3.54 4.59 26.90 1106.66 39
3-year avg. by district Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
SD 5 655.70 3.33 4.67 24.33 983.75 2
SD 6 688.61 4.18 4.50 23.36 1052.00 17
SD 9 704.16 3.91 4.37 26.01 1017.99 29
SD Average 698.91 3.98 4.44 24.94 1034.93 48

Day 1 Press Release: Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

Pro Farmer Editor and western Tour director Chip Flory says, “I saw the best South Dakota corn crop I’ve ever seen on the Tour today! There… that’s a great example of why you don’t pay too close attention to one route!”

Flory elaborates, “My first three stops in South Dakota today were in corn fields with yields between 190 Bu and 200 Bu per acre. These are dryland acres! That’s awesome for South Dakota! But, when all 39 samples were averaged today, we had an average yield of 141.1 Bu per acre, down 1.7% from 2010 Tour results.”

Flory’s sampling of the soybean crop, on the other hand, “was a real mystery.” He notes that he pulled one of the best soybeans samples he’s ever pulled on the Tour with “2,200-plus pods in a 3’ X 3’ square” and 15 miles down the road pulled a sample with only 650 to 700 pods. He warns that final soybean yields will be determined by how much water is available to the crop — today and going forward. Flory says the South Dakota bean crop could be as good or better than last year’s crop if it gets another shot of rain.

Western Tour consultant Terry Johnston saw more variety on his route through southeastern South Dakota. He notes that corn and soybean yields varied depending upon planting dates and moisture levels — too much in the spring or too little moisture in recent weeks limited yields.

But Johnston did note some consistencies. “Most routes found the crops to be generally healthy and green and relatively free of insects and diseases. On my route, the northern counties tended to be better. As we moved south of Mitchell, SD, it got drier and the crops were showing stress from lack of moisture,” he said.

Posted by: Anna Kaverman – Mercer Landmark

August 22, 2011

By: Julianne Johnston, Editor

Following are final Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour results from Ohio:

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Ohio Corn
2011 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
OH1 93.00 5.96 15.35 30.00 140.74 29
OH2 101.80 6.01 14.39 31.20 146.33 14
OH4 93.54 6.50 15.62 30.07 157.06 38
OH5 85.67 6.83 16.03 28.33 165.46 21
OH7 94.00 6.00 17.11 30.00 161.18 3
Ohio Average 92.79 6.40 15.73 29.84 156.26 105
3-year avg. by district Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
OH 1 95.65 6.09 15.76 30.00 153.45 24
OH 2 93.49 5.88 16.60 29.67 153.94 9
OH 4 93.60 6.45 16.28 30.20 162.44 31
OH 5 90.97 6.49 16.43 30.27 159.21 16
OH 7 93.03 6.58 15.91 30.00 161.65 4
OH Average 93.56 6.29 16.17 30.08 158.03 84

 

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Ohio Soybeans
2011 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
OH1 367.80 2.79 4.55 12.53 1104.10 29
OH2 401.84 2.79 4.43 11.32 1422.72 14
OH4 381.56 2.47 4.63 11.87 1313.27 38
OH5 449.42 3.24 4.62 13.60 1301.17 21
OH7 213.74 3.67 4.67 10.50 807.13 3
Ohio Average 389.24 2.79 4.59 12.29 1253.21 105
3-year avg. by district Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
OH 1 340.35 2.04 4.61 11.44 1104.78 24
OH 2 309.20 2.45 4.20 11.57 1038.46 8
OH 4 443.94 2.86 4.73 12.90 1267.38 31
OH 5 421.86 2.84 4.58 13.77 1219.48 16
OH 7 377.00 2.83 4.38 10.38 1378.00 3
OH Average 394.83 2.56 4.60 12.49 1190.98 83

Day 1 Press Release: Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

August 23, 2011

By: Julianne Johnston, Editor

On the eastern leg of the Tour sampled through Ohio, Eastern Tour consultant Mark Bernard notes that corn yields ranged from a low of 88 Bu per acre to a high around 240 Bu per acre. Soybean pod counts in the 3’ by 3’ square were also all over the board, ranging from 620 pods to more than 3,500 pods.

Bernard says overall crop health in the state was “very good with disease pressure in corn and beans generally very light.” But he did note, “One thing that stuck out in some of the soybean fields was the weed pressure that had possibly affected some of the pod counts in the drier areas. Of particular note were things like horseweed (marestail), common ragweed and giant ragweed escapes.”

On his route through Ohio, Pro Farmer Senior Market Analyst and eastern Tour director Brian Grete says, “Variability was the word of the day.”

He continues, “That’s likely the result of the rough conditions producers in the Buckeye state have faced throughout the growing season. Crops were “mudded in” and then in a lot of cases, it turned hot and dry in July.”

Grete also says late planting has also led to some crop concerns. He notes, “Ohio crops need time to mature. They will also need timely rains to get them to the finish line and maintain the yield potential we measured for corn and for the soybean crop to fill the pods we counted. That means there’s still a lot of uncertainty with this year’s Ohio corn and soybean crops.”

Posted by Anna Kaverman- Mercer Landmark

It’s Tour Time!

The 19th trek across the Corn Belt begins today and it is going to be a jam-packed Midwest Crop tour. In the east, Sr. market analyst Brian Grete will direct 60-plus scouts and Pro Farmer editor Chip Flory will host 40-plus scouts on the western leg of the tour. Also on the west, a delegation of Chinese grain buyers, ag researchers and ag educators will be part of the experience after spending a day with former National Corn Growers Association president and Pro Farmer member Darrin Ihnen. As a disclaimer, the markets will be watching every step of the tour again this year and there’s little question it will be a market moving event. HOWEVER…. PLEASE DON’T GET “SUCKED IN” to reports from one route or another. Wait until final results for each state are available. Below it the crop tour timeline.

Crop Tour timeline:

As scouts make their way across the Corn Belt, information will flow from the tour as it is gathered. Each night, results will be made available from:

August 22nd: Ohio and South Dakota

August 23rd: Indiana and Nebraska

August 24th: Illinois and Western Iowa

August 25th: All Iowa and Minnesota.

Pro Farmer will release our corn and soybean crop estimates on August 26th after the market closes.

August 21, 2011

By: Chip Flory, Pro Farmer Editor

From the Rows with Chip Flory

We’re getting ready to hit the road and putting together the riders with drivers and I figured this would be a great time to talk a little about how the Tour operates.

First, we do our best to change up riders and drivers each day, but it doesn’t always work. We do this for a couple of reasons. First, we want to give everybody as much opportunity as possible to meet and talk with different people. Also, we understand that personalities are different… and some people just don’t get along! By changing up the riders and drivers as much as possible, we lower the risk of sticking two people together that just don’t “click” for more than one day.

The Tour travels in teams of three or four scouts per route with 10 to 12 routes per day on the eastern leg and 7 to 9 routes per day on the western leg. We’ve mentioned a couple of times this year that we actually had to turn some potential scouts away this year… we just had too many requests to come along. That’s the first time we’ve done this in 18 years of directing the Tour and it was disappointing to have to do it. When we started turning scouts away, they asked a legitimate question — why not just add more routes?

The way things stand, we’ll already be doubled up on some routes… and we don’t like to do that. Even with two scout teams traveling on one route, they’ll work together and produce just one set of data. We always talk about “more is better,” but that’s not always the case. If each team traveling on one route each collected its own set of yield samples, the total data sample would be weighted more heavily to that route than on past Tours. If each route had two scout teams, we’d go ahead and double up samples because the weighting would be similar to past Tours. But, for now we’ll stick with just one data set per route regardless of the number of scout teams traveling that route.

Another reason: There are only so many roads to get from one overnight stop to the next. (Seriously… we’re not kidding.) By adding routes, we’d be running two routes too close together, again increasing the number of samples pulled from a very similar route, resulting in the same “weighting” issue discussed above.

The other reason we started turning potential scouts away is because we want to give each scout the experience they expect on the Tour. That includes getting into the field and talking with a variety of people involved (one way or another) in the ag industry. As the number of scouts increased, we started growing concerned that scouts wouldn’t get the experience they expect.

We look for the scout teams to bring back at least one sample per county their route travels through. If possible, get two… and try to average about 15 samples per day. They do that by stopping about every 15 miles on their route and pulling a corn and a soybean sample. We only tell the scouts which route to follow… we don’t tell them where to stop. That helps keep the data collection random… and that adds value to the data collected.

Once scouts decide where they’re going to stop, they’ll get past the end rows and then walk an additional 35 paces into the field. Most likely, there is no way scout teams will be able to tell what’s that deep into a field before they start into the field. It also gets scouts away from “high traffic” areas in the field to get away from compaction issues.

To add some randomness to the data collection, we pull the 5th, 8th, and 11th ear from one of two sample rows. That means scouts might pull the three best… or worst… ears from that sample row. But that’s okay… we’re not trying to peg the yield in that corn field. We’re looking to get an idea of the yield potential of one big corn field that stretches from Ohio to central Nebraska and from central Minnesota down into downstate Illinois. If we do peg the yield in an individual field, it’s completely by coincidence. It means we landed in “the” average spot of that field. (Not likely to happen.)

In soybeans, we don’t estimate a yield. Instead we calculate the number of pods in a 3-foot by 3-foot square. That gives us a good idea of how much of the soybean production factory is up and running from one year to the next. When counting pods, we’re observing how many beans there are per pod, but not recording that number. The number of beans per pod has a big impact on the soybean yield, as does the weight of those soybeans. That’s another number we try to observe and estimate, but we don’t record that observation.

By counting the pods and the number of plants in three feet of row, scouts also get down into the rows to make some additional observations. As they’re counting plants, they’ll also be in position to notice any disease problems. And we record the soil moisture. The amount of water available to the bean plant at this time of the year determines how many pods the plant will hold onto and the size of the beans inside the pod.

That, in a nutshell, is what happens on the Tour. Each day, scouts show up at the hotels, turn in their data sheets and the data gets faxed back to the Pro Farmer office in Cedar Falls where a team enters the data into spreadsheets. Once the data is entered and checked, it’s faxed back to the Crop Tour locations where it is released and discussed. We like to call in “real time information and analysis.” It’s a lot of fun to try to put some market perspective on the data, as well.

Be sure to come back to agweb.com and to “From the Rows” to get daily comments from me and Terry Johnston on the western Tour and from Brian Grete and Mark Bernard on the eastern Tour. Each day, Brian and I will sum up and analyze the numbers and Terry and Mark will talk about agronomic conditions. We’re looking forward to the Tour!

Posted by Anna Kaverman- Mercer Landmark

August 16, 2011

By: University News Release

Three types of corn ear rot have the potential to appear in Indiana fields because of the extremely hot, dry weather.
 

Courtesy of Ag Answers, Ohio State Extension and Purdue Extension

 While there is no way to manage or reduce toxic ear rots at this point in the growing season, Purdue Extension plant pathologist Kiersten Wise said it’s important for farmers to know what’s present in their fields. 

Aspergillus ear rot, common on drought-stressed plants in overly hot, dry crop years, is caused by the Aspergillus flavus fungus, which also produces aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a mycotoxin that is carcinogenic and can cause health problems in livestock.

 Infected ears are stunted and have an olive-green dusty mold under the husk.

 ”Low levels of Aspergillus ear rot were detected in 2010 in southern Indiana, and conditions may again be favorable for the disease to develop in 2011,” Wise said.

Another common ear rot exacerbated by the hot, dry weather is Fusarium ear rot. Fusarium is caused by a fungus called Fusarium verticilloides, which produces fumonisin – a mycotoxin especially toxic to horses and swine.

Wise said symptoms of Fusarium ear rot include white, pink or grey kernels scattered across the ear. It often is associated with insect damage. “In some hybrids, a white streaking can appear in kernels, which is known as a ‘starburst’ pattern,” she said.

Diplodia is another common Indiana ear rot. Wise said it usually first appears in the southern regions, but it can be found statewide in most years. The fungus that causes Diplodia ear rot is called Stenocarpella maydis. It infects corn during silking. What sets apart Diplodia from Fusarium and Aspergillus ear rots is the infection and disease development favored by wet weather.

“April-planted corn in southern Indiana experienced wet, humid weather at silking, which may have favored infection in susceptible hybrids,” Wise said.

Infected ears tend to have bleached husks with tiny black specks on the outer layer.

Growers removing the husk of an infected ear will find white, fuzzy growth between kernels, often starting at the base of the ear. Cobs also can appear rotted.

Wise said producers need to scout their fields before harvest to determine if or how much of the disease is present.

“If any Aspergillus ear rot is observed in a field, affected areas should be harvested early and grain should be segregated to avoid aflatoxin contamination of non-infected grain,” she said. “Fields affected by Diplodia and Fusarium ear rots should also be harvested prior to other non-affected fields.

“All grain contaminated by any ear rot fungus should be stored separately from good grain and stored below 15 percent moisture to prevent further growth of fungi.”

Anna Kaverman- Mercer Landmark

It’s hot out there. And, your corn doesn’t like it any more than you do. The question weighing on everyone’s mind is the current hot snap doing anything to your yield potential yet? The answer is yes, but just how much is still up for debate.

Data gathered over the past 35 years in Illinois demonstrates how much yield potential could be trimmed by hotter than normal temperatures in July and August.  According to the study the 35 year average corn yield from 1975 to 2010, in Illinois was 168.7 bushel/acre. But the data also suggests that in most years when the average temperature for July exceeded 77 degrees, the corn ended up yielding below trendline yield. This compared to the state average trend-adjusted corn yield which varied from 116.7 to 182.5 and averaged 157.8. A substantial part of the variation can be attributed to the large range of July precipitation and varying temperatures and precipitation conditions in August.

For example, in 1983, the average temperature in Illinois was 79 degrees and rainfall was less than 2 inches. That year, the state’s corn crop averaged 132.2 bushels/acre. In 1988, the temperature averaged 77.5 degrees and the state received an average of 2.6 inches of rainfall. That year, the crop made 116.7 bushels/acre on average.

These are few of the more eye-catching figures. There are other years in the same timeframe that, to this point, resemble this year a lot. How did yields end up in those years? Since 1975 the years that most resemble 2011 when July conditions were abnormally hot and dry are 1977, 1980, 1983, 1999 and 2002. You are probably wondering what happened in those years? According to USDA data the crop condition ratings (percent good or excellent) declined sharply each year, except 1977, as the growing season progressed from late June through early September. To date, 2011 crop conditions ratings are generally tracking behind the average of the 5 years.  The same can be said about Ohio up until yesterday’s report when conditions miraculously improved by 6%. 

Anyway you look at it the corn crop is showing significant signs of heat stress.  Despite high 90’s and sometimes triple digit readings, the night time temperatures have some farmers more concerned. They are alarmed because when night time temps do not fall below 70 degrees the plant is unable to slow down and rest just as we do. When the temps stay about 70 degrees at night the plant is forced to keep working which diverts energy being used by the plant from filling the ear to survival mode thus kernels will start to be aborted.

Even though I haven’t painted the most rosy picture for the crop all hope isn’t lost yet. Yes, the current heat wave is far from ideal. But weather over the next few weeks will be more important to the later planted corn and the crops final yield in the long run. Corn yield prospects wheather late planted or early planted are still highly variable and uncertain.