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Archive for August, 2012

2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour Results: Iowa

August 23, 2012

By: Julianne Johnston, Editor

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

Farmer Crop Tour Data — Iowa Corn
2012 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
IA1 98.83 6.02 15.86 29.91 159.87 47
IA2 85.37 5.17 15.44 30.00 119.25 35
IA3 88.56 6.15 15.68 29.51 148.08 41
IA4 91.07 5.88 15.60 29.91 143.22 44
IA5 88.00 6.30 15.94 30.44 145.72 27
IA6 89.13 5.61 15.35 30.08 132.32 71
IA7 84.51 6.14 15.49 29.49 137.00 39
IA8 72.21 5.15 14.96 30.86 88.73 14
IA9 89.26 5.36 15.07 30.26 123.26 23
Iowa Average 88.96 5.80 15.53 29.96 137.27 341
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 1 103.21 6.54 16.14 30.58 177.50 43
IA 2 103.49 6.55 16.16 30.09 181.84 27
IA 3 99.80 6.56 16.09 30.28 174.40 37
IA 4 100.02 6.60 16.08 30.03 176.98 44
IA 5 100.64 6.46 15.92 30.23 171.92 34
IA 6 99.14 6.63 16.14 30.31 174.90 52
IA 7 92.81 6.74 16.10 30.04 167.15 40
IA 8 89.40 6.41 15.27 30.58 142.54 21
IA 9 98.92 6.36 15.75 30.63 159.77 24
IA Average 98.93 6.57 16.01 30.27 171.66 321

 

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Iowa Soybeans
2012 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
IA1 679.50 2.19 5.06 25.56 978.92 48
IA2 503.21 2.53 4.88 21.74 817.44 34
IA3 645.82 2.76 4.93 23.56 1024.73 41
IA4 553.65 2.09 5.09 22.98 894.79 44
IA5 783.63 2.62 5.04 23.17 1232.13 26
IA6 660.84 2.95 4.91 22.28 1115.55 59
IA7 533.74 2.05 5.00 19.21 1044.04 38
IA8 461.16 1.92 4.92 19.23 850.03 13
IA9 481.60 2.38 4.88 20.42 881.18 24
Iowa Average 606.28 2.43 4.97 22.41 999.80 327
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 1 852.33 3.93 4.83 26.72 1200.33 40
IA 2 840.32 3.80 4.75 26.30 1175.24 27
IA 3 756.20 4.55 4.94 24.93 1118.78 37
IA 4 807.82 4.19 4.81 22.88 1324.11 45
IA 5 839.47 4.13 4.84 23.67 1323.33 33
IA 6 758.83 4.29 4.84 21.06 1327.35 42
IA 7 661.25 4.40 4.76 19.43 1279.21 40
IA 8 668.50 4.15 4.51 21.68 1168.41 18
IA 9 712.16 3.79 4.68 21.23 1253.94 23
IA Average 771.43 4.20 4.79 23.03 1255.50 306

 

On the final day of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, the eastern and western legs converged in Owatonna, Minnesota, for the release of official Tour results from Iowa and Minnesota. Iowa samples resulted in an average corn yield of 137.27 bu. per acre and an average soybean pod count of 999.80 in a 3’X3’ square. Minnesota resulted in a final corn yield of 156.19 bu. per acre and a pod count of 934.35 in a 3’X3’ square.

Pro Farmer Senior Market Analyst and eastern Tour Director Brian Grete saw wide variability in corn yields on his trek across Iowa with samples ranging from 0 to 202.5 bu. per acre. Overall, he says, corn yields were disappointing.

Soybean pod counts on Grete’s route were also “all over the board.” He continues, “While we got very good pod counts in some of the fields, they weren’t consistently strong.”

Pods were again absent from the bottom area of the plant, but Grete says “in most cases, the soybeans seemed to withstand drought conditions better than corn. But ironically, our lowest soybean pod count of the day came at the same stop as our highest corn yield.”

Looking back on Tour findings, Grete says that while he expected severe damage, it was still a shock to walk into some fields and come out with the poor results that were all too common this year. “The humbling aspect of the week was the stark reminder that severe weather conditions such as seen this year can trump production management, technology and soil types,” he says.

Eastern Tour Consultant Mark Bernard says: “All in all, the corn crop we saw today was the most variable I’ve seen on the nine Crop Tours I’ve participated in. It showed us the kind of yields Iowa is usually capable of. But it also reminded us of what kind of growing season we’ve been through.  We pulled a 228 bu./acre corn sample out of Buchanan and two samples later, we zeroed a field.”

Bernard notes standability was an issue for Iowa corn (for the fourth state in a row).

Soybeans are beginning to abort some pods in Iowa, and Bernard says low pod counts “likely foretell the tale of a soybean crop that could’ve been, given a few more timely rains and some cooler temperatures earlier on during pod set.”

2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour Results: Minnesota

August 23, 2012

By: Julianne Johnston, Editor

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

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Minnesota Corn
2012 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
MN4 93.25 6.34 16.06 26.00 183.02 4
MN5 90.80 5.79 15.68 29.73 151.02 15
MN7 91.29 5.80 15.72 28.59 145.79 51
MN8 93.93 6.11 16.07 29.15 158.15 80
MN9 104.00 6.81 16.44 30.00 194.34 9
Minn. Average 93.34 6.02 15.94 28.99 156.19 159
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 95.81 6.90 15.74 28.58 183.12 3
MN 5 96.96 6.40 15.76 28.44 172.70 8
MN 7 98.45 6.68 15.81 29.18 178.07 47
MN 8 101.11 6.59 16.01 28.97 184.29 66
MN 9 103.92 6.72 15.93 29.81 186.15 21
MN Average 100.46 6.64 15.93 29.14 182.23 145

 

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Minnesota Soybeans
2012 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
MN4 675.65 4.00 4.75 22.25 1019.89 4
MN5 810.48 3.46 5.00 27.85 1066.56 13
MN7 636.56 2.69 4.84 26.19 921.74 51
MN8 645.72 2.58 4.99 26.01 905.93 83
MN9 533.32 2.82 4.82 19.73 1019.95 11
Minn. Average 649.17 2.73 4.93 25.69 934.35 162
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 4 675.58 3.00 4.93 20.63 1661.24 3
MN 5 803.07 3.37 4.94 28.98 996.11 8
MN 7 746.00 3.77 4.81 24.38 1115.04 45
MN 8 780.95 3.69 4.83 22.82 1088.48 65
MN 9 716.65 3.97 4.77 22.80 1186.23 21
MN Average 764.62 3.74 4.83 25.25 1115.85 142

 

Western Tour Leader and Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory opens his “From the Rows” blog with a rundown of memorable Tour moments and then responds to criticism of the Tour and its routes with an invite to come on the Tour and the explanation that deviating from historic routes would compromise the Tour’s data integrity. 

“When we wrapped thing up in Minnesota, we had an average corn yield of 156.19 bu. per acre. That’s down 11.2% from last year’s Tour findings. USDA on Aug. 1 had Minnesota down just 1 bu. from last year (0.6%), which means we may not have seen as good of a crop in Minnesota as expected.” But Chip quickly follows that this may be one of those years when areas north of the Tour will actually out-yield some of the counties to the south, offsetting some of this damage. Flory also points out the Minnesota corn crop was the least mature of all of the western Tour stops (despite it being about two weeks ahead of average).

Soybean pod counts were disappointing, as they declined 16.9% from last year. However, Flory says these were still the “least bad” of the western Corn Belt.

Western Tour Consultant Jason Franck says that while his route through Minnesota saw some consistency, it was not in the ear size, but rather, in the maturity of the crop. “Almost all of the ears we sampled were at half milk line. So, if the weather turns more favorable, we could still add some test weight or maybe 3% to 6% potential yield change,” Franck elaborates.  

As was the case yesterday in Iowa, Minnesota beans had reached maturity and were starting to turn leaves. Franck says, “The only difference was the percentage of soybeans doing this was higher than we saw in Iowa. So, knowing this, I think it is safe to say many of these fields are within limited days of also changing colors. As a result, I think any pods that are around a 0.25″ will not produce anything, reducing the potential for better pod numbers.” Again he noted aborted pods within the clusters themselves, which showed heat was too much for the crop.

2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour Results: Illinois

August 22, 2012

By: Julianne Johnston, Editor

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

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Illinois Corn
2012 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
IL1 86.97 5.90 14.99 30.18 133.52 34
IL2 89.70 5.58 14.93 30.00 127.01 10
IL3 93.63 5.82 15.88 30.63 145.79 19
IL4 84.04 5.52 14.17 29.20 118.56 56
IL5 75.67 4.76 14.35 29.31 101.79 49
IL6 80.00 5.80 15.80 28.46 126.80 13
IL7 90.08 5.77 14.90 30.00 133.56 13
IL Avg. 83.80 5.46 14.72 29.58 121.60 194
3-year avg. by distrcit Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
IL 1 98.29 6.22 15.86 30.22 160.23 29
IL 2 101.07 6.22 16.19 30.00 168.71 8
IL 3 98.79 6.23 16.06 30.24 163.09 19
IL 4 97.98 6.42 16.11 30.14 169.13 42
IL 5 95.63 6.14 15.91 29.88 156.89 34
IL 6 93.35 6.30 15.65 30.20 154.21 13
IL 7 99.87 6.27 15.89 30.18 165.12 11
IL Avg. 97.69 6.29 15.97 30.14 163.23 157

 

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Illinois Soybeans
2012 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
IL1 666.82 2.74 4.97 21.47 1196.04 34
IL2 675.51 3.00 4.80 20.50 1264.75 10
IL3 550.04 2.58 4.68 20.79 936.66 19
IL4 544.12 3.13 4.80 23.62 860.36 56
IL5 453.33 2.88 4.96 19.84 863.12 49
IL6 442.07 2.47 5.00 19.33 808.72 15
IL7 473.33 2.92 5.08 19.17 864.70 12
IL Avg. 537.81 2.87 4.89 21.25 944.05 195
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
IL 1 721.99 3.93 4.70 22.20 1213.36 27
IL 2 748.38 4.26 4.90 23.86 1192.56 8
IL 3 699.83 3.60 4.58 21.04 1233.07 19
IL 4 700.85 3.94 4.72 22.43 1170.79 42
IL 5 582.71 3.44 4.70 17.95 1175.65 34
IL 6 536.69 3.57 4.70 16.33 1213.73 13
IL 7 581.66 2.72 4.69 17.56 1241.40 11
IL Avg. 657.09 3.68 4.70 20.38 1202.38 154

 

The third day of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour concluded with the release of official yield results in Illinois and western Iowa. Illinois samples resulted in an average corn yield of 121.60 bu. per acre and an average soybean pod count of 944.05 in a 3’X3’ square.

Pro Farmer Senior Market Analyst and eastern Tour Director Brian Grete noted widely varied yields on his Tour through Illinois yesterday — in fields just 15 miles apart. And based on talks with a local farmer, spotty rains are likely the culprit. Grete observes, “Standability and stalk quality were the primary issues we saw outside of moisture stress.”

The average pod count on Grete’s route was even lower than the state average at 892 pods per 3’X3’ square. He says, “Many of the bean plants had very few pods on the lower portion of the plant, which is a theme we’ve seen through most areas this week. While there was less weed pressure than in Ohio and Indiana, the soybean pod counts simply weren’t there.”

As no blooms remain on the plants, Grete says the bean crop will now have to work to maximize what yield potential is there and “in some cases work to keep pods from aborting and losing yield potential.”

Eastern Tour Consultant Mark Bernard says his route through Illinois saw brisk harvest activity south of Decatur, as well it should’ve been. “Corn was going down and it was definitely ready. Samples were rumored to be as low as the mid-20s to mid-teens in moisture,” Bernard elaborates.

A talk with a curious police officer confirmed there was local concern about the potential aflatoxin issue due to the fungi aspergillis. But that along with stock rot and a few corn ear worms appear to be the extent of insect and disease pressure on corn, Bernard reports, who also noted extremely variably crops on his route. On soybeans, Bernard says that while “it won’t be what it might’ve been, it could’ve been a lot worse.” He confirms the light disease and insect pressure on the crop.

2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour Results: Western Iowa

August 22, 2012

By: Julianne Johnston, Editor

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

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — W. Iowa Corn
2012 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
IA1 98.64 6.02 15.77 29.90 159.29 42
IA4 91.07 5.88 15.60 29.91 143.22 44
IA7 84.51 6.14 15.49 29.49 137.00 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
IA 1 103.21 6.54 16.14 30.58 177.50 43
IA 4 100.02 6.60 16.08 30.03 176.98 44
IA 7 92.81 6.74 16.10 30.04 167.15 40

 

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — W. Iowa Soybeans
2012 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
IA1 680.05 2.17 5.07 25.69 970.89 42
IA4 553.65 2.09 5.09 22.98 894.79 44
IA7 533.74 2.05 5.00 19.21 1044.04 38
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 1 852.33 3.93 4.83 26.72 1200.33 40
IA 4 807.82 4.19 4.81 22.88 1324.11 45
IA 7 661.25 4.40 4.76 19.43 1279.21 40

 

Western Tour Leader and Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory makes a plea for critics to “PLEASE look at the history of the Tour before making any comments about the Tour,” before getting into his findings in Iowa yesterday. While Iowa results won’t be released until tomorrow because Brian Grete will lead scouts through the eastern two-thirds of the state today, a “sneak peak” at western Iowa reveals the state’s crop is much the same story as the rest of the Corn Belt — yields are down, though to a lesser extreme than some other areas.

On seeing a combine rolling in western Iowa, Flory “hopped up in the cab and the corn was at about 22% moisture and the yield sample we pulled about three minutes before the crop was harvested was less than 2 bu. different than what the yield monitor said at that spot of the field.”

On soybeans, Flory says the problems “were the same as we’ve been describing the last two days… too much heat and too little water.”

Western Tour Consultant Jason Franck had hoped to see his home state of Iowa shine, but noted “this may not be the year to see anything shine.” He also saw harvest underway. He was amazed at the amount of stalk lodged corn he found and the extent of damage. “Stalk lodging, by definition, is the breakage of the stalk below the ear. Severely lodged corn leads to increased harvest losses, increased harvest time, increased drying cost, and may result in volunteer corn the following year. To me this is important, because the plants were being cannibalized and growers need to understand that in this environment, action needs to be taken,” he explains.

He says crop conditions and yields improved as his route moved north as these areas had received a little rain. But on soybeans, Franck says, “We started the Tour with disappointing comments on soybeans and today didn’t change that perception. The lack of big cluster numbers is keeping our counts low. Additionally, today we were seeing pods with one good, plump bean and two beans flat and out of time. I estimate 10% of the fields on the Tour today were turning for maturity reasons and the remaining fields are quickly behind.” He continues that this leaves little hope Mother Nature will correct such conditions.

Today, Tour scouts on the eastern leg will begin their day in Iowa City, Iowa, and the western leg of the Tour will depart from Spencer, Iowa. Both legs will end the day in Owatonna, Minnesota, with the release of official Tour results from Iowa and Minnesota.

2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour Results: Nebraska

August 21, 2012

By: Julianne Johnston, Editor

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

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Nebraska Corn
2012 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
NE2 57.25 5.43 13.78 30.00 90.71 4
NE3 74.20 5.45 15.20 30.29 117.86 41
NE5 95.37 6.36 14.93 31.68 164.05 19
NE6 81.02 5.91 15.65 30.74 131.17 54
NE8 95.13 7.15 16.24 30.00 183.01 8
NE9 76.66 6.28 15.71 30.49 127.64 61
NE Avg. 79.65 6.02 15.48 30.61 131.79 187
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 84.73 6.55 15.57 31.35 137.42 6
NE 3 82.61 7.33 15.99 30.30 160.57 38
NE 5 93.01 7.34 16.16 33.62 162.70 16
NE 6 85.60 7.42 16.01 30.93 163.96 65
NE 8 89.54 7.33 16.08 32.61 161.14 13
NE 9 78.74 7.20 16.13 30.68 148.16 64
NE Avg. 83.76 7.30 16.04 31.07 156.94 202

 

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Nebraska Beans
2012 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
NE2 440.75 2.50 5.25 21.50 723.15 4
NE3 507.94 2.51 4.92 22.58 827.40 39
NE5 878.69 4.06 5.00 28.18 1157.68 17
NE6 547.37 2.49 4.90 23.43 871.64 49
NE8 767.97 3.00 4.44 24.67 968.32 9
NE9 606.79 2.33 4.67 25.38 882.35 60
NE Average 599.16 2.62 4.82 24.37 894.43 178
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 2 623.39 4.05 4.94 23.08 993.05 5
NE 3 815.91 4.20 4.62 22.07 1359.62 37
NE 5 962.33 3.99 4.73 28.92 1277.47 15
NE 6 846.82 4.35 4.72 24.46 1283.45 64
NE 8 1071.27 4.19 5.00 26.77 1397.30 13
NE 9 759.70 4.02 4.87 23.44 1200.38 63
NE Average 833.34 4.17 4.78 24.12 1277.24 197

 

Western Tour Leader and Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory says unfortunately, his route found exactly what they feared they see — a poor corn and soybean crop in Nebraska. “I honestly didn’t see the risk of a significant cut to USDA’s corn crop estimate of 10.8 billion bushels. After two days on the western leg of the Tour, I now see a risk of a significant cut to the 2012-13 corn supply,” he says.

Chip points to an encounter with a harvesting farmer yesterday (get more on this here) as an example of the wide variability of yields seen within the same field and the problem with kernel size this growing season. “In a normal year, it takes about 90,000 kernels to make a bushel of corn, but the dryland corn in Nebraska this year might make a half bushel with 90,000 kernels,” Flory explains.

Soybeans were better than Day 1, Flory says, but he quips, “Beans on day 2 of the Tour were a lot like the economic data we see every day: It’s not good… it’s just less bad than expected.”

Western Tour Consultant Jason Franck says his first four stops in southeast Nebraska yesterday were “a dream” as they averaged more than 200 bu. per acre. As he moved into dryland areas, yields declined, but Franck says this is where he was actually more impressed because “even though corn plants had shut down, consistency was much better within the fields and there was a much better ear:stalk ratio than we say on the first day of the Tour.”

But he did wonder why harvest wasn’t underway as dryland corn there was at black layer. A local grower delivered the following answer: “The moisture range within the fields is from 12% to 25% and I’m done spending money on this crop.”

Regarding the dryland corn, Franck says, “Each and every one of these fields had stalks that were weak and the nodes we stringy and necrotic… Corn through the combine and in the bin is worth more than it is if it’s lying flat in the field.”

Franck describes soybeans on his route as “remarkably good” with even dryland beans much improved over the first day of the Tour. “One big advantage to the soybeans on day two was the fact that very little disease was present. Additionally, most plants that we sampled had plump seeds in them and have the potential to finish well under the right environment,” he reports.

Today, Tour scouts on the eastern leg will begin their day in Bloomington, Illinois and will end in Iowa City, Iowa with the release of official yield data for Illinois. The western leg of the Tour will depart from Nebraska City, Nebraska and end in Spencer, Iowa.

2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour Results: Indiana

August 21, 2012

By: Julianne Johnston, Editor

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

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Indiana Corn
2012 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
IN1 81.72 5.31 14.99 29.44 114.89 25
IN2 83.13 5.76 14.69 30.00 120.31 24
IN3 93.19 5.64 14.42 30.00 127.04 21
IN4 83.16 5.25 14.76 29.47 113.65 19
IN5 85.76 5.27 14.22 29.70 113.04 50
IN6 77.71 4.91 14.33 30.00 95.48 28
IN Average 84.07 5.33 14.50 29.77 113.25 167
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 95.80 6.23 15.81 29.97 157.41 19
IN 2 95.67 6.08 16.11 30.14 155.66 16
IN 3 93.83 5.81 15.35 30.00 142.46 15
IN 4 90.53 6.24 16.08 28.19 164.02 20
IN 5 94.67 6.28 15.95 30.01 158.56 36
IN 6 95.21 5.94 15.93 29.93 151.50 19
IN Average 94.31 6.13 15.89 29.71 155.84 124

 

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Indiana Beans
2012 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
IN1 390.22 3.27 4.85 17.12 804.28 26
IN2 498.39 3.08 4.75 13.44 1358.32 24
IN3 511.73 3.10 5.10 13.63 1362.14 20
IN4 424.64 3.78 5.00 19.78 807.48 18
IN5 410.15 3.47 4.99 15.50 945.53 47
IN6 457.77 2.68 5.14 16.16 1024.65 28
Indiana Average 442.21 3.23 4.97 15.81 1033.24 163
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 1 571.07 3.38 4.84 17.92 1212.50 19
IN 2 533.53 3.33 4.85 17.06 1165.05 16
IN 3 452.01 2.79 4.43 15.03 1115.42 14
IN 4 513.45 2.96 4.89 14.96 1308.98 20
IN 5 484.64 2.88 4.70 14.96 1214.14 36
IN 6 383.08 2.37 4.50 13.92 1064.57 19
IN Average 489.80 2.94 4.72 15.50 1190.37 124

 

The second day of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour concluded with the release of results in Indiana and Nebraska. Indiana samples resulted in an average corn yield of 113.25 bu. per acre. The final average corn yield for Nebraska is 131.79 bu. per acre. Pod counts in a 3’X3’ square yielded an average of 1,033.24 pods in Indiana and 894.43 pods in Nebraska.

Pro Farmer Senior Market Analyst and eastern Tour Director Brian Grete says, “While the corn was improved from what I had seen on Day 1, there were still only two fields that I felt represented “good” corn for the area we were in. The other seven samples showed the effects of stressful growing conditions.” Grete also noted a long stretch of hail damage in Tippecanoe County.

Indiana soybeans were benefiting from improved topsoil moisture after recent rains, according to Grete. He says that will help them fill pods, though most of the plants were done flowering.

Grete says conditions worsened “right at the border” into Illinois and noted this area typically produces top-end yields. He reports much of the corn sampled on Day 2 reflected stress to ear development and stalk problems. Another result of extreme stress was advanced development of the crop and a number of fields having been chopped for silage.

Eastern Tour Consultant Mark Bernard reports high variability on his Day 2 route. “We recorded a low of 0 in Pulaski Co. and the next sample we pulled was our high at 188 bu. per acre on the other side of the county… neither field was irrigated,” he explains. Soybean pod counts were equally varied on Bernard’s route.

“Being a bug, weed and disease guy, I was more in my element today,” Bernard says. He found gray leaf spot and some corn ear worm. “In the soybeans we found the first SDS we’ve seen on this Crop Tour in Kankakee Co., IL,” Bernard continues.

Like Grete, he notes weak ear shanks and says the integrity of the stalks was beginning to be an issue.

2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour Results: South Dakota

August 20, 2012

By: Julianne Johnston, Editor

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

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — S.D. Corn
2012 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
SD5 9.00 3.75 15.30 30.00 8.61 1
SD6 62.06 5.57 14.87 29.41 103.23 17
SD9 47.48 3.95 12.46 30.81 58.45 27
S Dak. Average 52.13 4.56 13.44 30.27 74.26 45
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 68.17 7.48 16.21 28.33 162.31 1
SD 6 85.31 6.51 15.53 30.13 149.55 15
SD 9 81.49 6.75 15.65 30.68 140.91 29
SD Average 82.37 6.67 15.60 30.44 143.88 46

 

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — S.D. Beans
2012 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
SD5 408.60 1.00 5.00 30.00 490.32 1
SD6 521.00 2.88 5.00 28.88 675.28 16
SD9 353.47 2.04 5.08 24.68 527.27 25
S Dak. Average 420.99 2.35 5.05 26.47 584.93 42
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 5 731.53 4.00 4.83 28.50 911.91 1
SD 6 773.39 4.20 4.50 24.70 1117.87 15
SD 9 793.11 3.95 4.50 26.42 1128.06 29
SD Average 781.50 4.02 4.51 25.86 1116.87 45

 

Western Tour Leader and Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory says crops on his route yesterday were even worse than expected. The average corn yield on his route was 60 bu. per acre (which included a yield of 0 and 7 bu. per acre). Flory says this is “the worst South Dakota corn crop I’ve seen since we started running a western leg of the Midwest Crop Tour (in the late 1990s).”

He continues to say it was the consistency of the poor yields that was especially troubling and noted that his samples were all from District 9 – the most concentrated area of corn and soybean production in the state. (See “From the Rows” for a detailed breakdown of what’s wrong with the corn crop.)

Beans weren’t in good shape either. “Last year, the average pod count in a 3′X3′ square was about 1,107. This year, the average pod count was 584.93 — down an astounding 47.1% from last year and down a touch more than that from the three-year average,” Flory elaborates. While normally he would say this doesn’t necessarily mean yield will be smaller as bean size can plump the end of August, this year Flory doesn’t think there will be any surprises.

Western Tour Consultant Jason Franck says his first two stops on day 1 resulted in yields over 100 bu. per acre on corn and mistakenly thought this would be the trend. Rather, the next three stops in South Dakota “were beyond bad. One ear (yes… 1 ear) in two 30′ rows does not make a good corn yield. With the lack of rain as we moved south, the ears ended up being malformed, poorly pollinated, and just plain not there.”

Franck said the poor state of the soybean crop – specifically the low pod counts – were the biggest shock to him. He also notes that “many of the plants did not start podding until about 10″ off the ground, showing that we had aborted pods early and then the lack of overall pods was a result of the challenging conditions throughout the remaining growing season.

He says as his route moved into more irrigated areas soybeans greened up and increased pod counts, but noted that “before we got there, we saw consistently uneven and weedy soybean fields.” He also noted charcoal rot in one irrigated field.

Today, Tour scouts on the eastern leg will begin their day in Fishers, Indiana, and will end in Bloomington, Illinois. The western leg of the Tour will depart from Grand Island, Nebraska, and end in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Official Tour data for Indiana and Nebraska will be released this evening.

2012 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour Results: Ohio

August 20, 2012

By: Julianne Johnston, Editor

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

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Ohio Corn
2012 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
OH1 86.71 4.81 14.42 30.00 105.87 24
OH2 88.10 5.47 13.95 29.00 114.34 10
OH4 84.41 5.50 14.46 30.00 117.50 44
OH5 73.90 5.34 14.49 29.81 103.27 21
OH7 57.25 5.13 14.50 26.25 89.60 4
Ohio Average 82.11 5.29 14.41 29.72 110.50 103
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 95.27 6.00 15.65 30.00 148.78 26
OH 2 98.16 6.03 15.99 29.84 160.39 10
OH 4 94.82 6.48 16.08 30.07 163.39 32
OH 5 91.60 6.68 16.26 29.58 167.49 17
OH 7 94.92 6.42 16.20 30.00 162.88 4
OH Average 94.70 6.34 16.03 29.91 160.53 89

 

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Ohio Soybeans
2012 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
OH1 388.14 2.75 4.79 12.08 1231.24 24
OH2 392.79 2.80 4.60 13.00 1071.34 10
OH4 342.03 2.30 5.07 13.92 912.71 44
OH5 462.05 2.71 5.05 15.95 1125.34 21
OH7 229.93 2.00 5.50 13.75 604.62 4
Ohio Average 377.82 2.52 4.97 13.81 1033.72 103
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 1 360.51 2.37 4.60 12.14 1104.79 26
OH 2 364.58 2.78 4.31 11.99 1210.53 10
OH 4 433.80 2.99 4.64 12.64 1303.86 32
OH 5 467.35 3.22 4.55 14.11 1335.45 17
OH 7 314.25 3.22 4.43 10.96 1152.04 4
OH Average 408.82 2.82 4.56 12.68 1240.85 89

 

The first day of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour concluded with the release of official final yield results in Ohio and South Dakota. Ohio samples resulted in an average corn yield of 110.50 bu. per acre. The final average corn yield for South Dakota is 74.26 bu. per acre. Pod counts in a 3’X3’ square yielded an average of 1,033.72 pods in Ohio and 584.93 pods in South Dakota.

Pro Farmer Senior Market Analyst and eastern Tour Director Brian Grete says “weather on Day 1 was near ideal, but that was all that was perfect. Crops in western Ohio and eastern Indiana were far below the norm” due to severe heat and moisture stress.

He says conditions only worsened as his route moved east through Indiana, and noted much of the corn in Indiana was extremely short and “from what other scouts found on different routes suffered from poor ear development, pollination problems and severe tipback.”

For soybeans, Grete says his route “found an average pod count in a 3’X3’ square of 794.8 in Ohio and 1,025.3 in Indiana. While the Indiana pod counts on our route were better than Ohio, they were still below the norm for the counties we sampled.” He also noted heavy weed pressure.

“This year, we asked our veteran scouts to do a little extra in tracking abandoned acres and beans per pod. Day 1 abandonment was much less prevalent than expected and beans per pod were higher than anticipated,” says Grete.

Eastern Tour Consultant Mark Bernard says his route was the “polar opposite from what I’d been on the previous two years in Ohio. Overall crop health was generally okay with minor leaf disease pressure in corn showing up recently in the form of a little gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight in the corn. Also some common smut was noted in the most drought stressed corn.”

One thing that stuck out to him was the weakness of the ear shanks in drought stricken areas. “When we’d pull the ears for a sample, they’d snap off with very little effort,” he explains, which could lead to trouble when combines roll or if a strong wind event occurs.

Bernard says soybean disease on his route was generally light with some two-spotted spider mite and bean leaf beetle infestations.

I have heard many references made about $55 plus soybeans and $17 corn over the past few days and began to wonder where it all was coming from. Then I found this article on Ag Web that explained why people were getting all excited. In my opionion, it does no good to fear-monger about $55 plus soybeans and $17 plus corn. It just won’t happen and just provides grist for the anti-ethanol mill and RFS waiver bunch. The market will run its course. All these types of articles do is excite farmers and cause them to set unrealistic goals. My point is be cautious and use common sense. Yes prices are at all time highs , but that does not mean they cannot come crashing back down at any point in time.

Say What? $55- Plus Soybeans and $17-Plus Corn!

By: Fran Howard

If $10 per bushel corn and $20 per bushel soybeans seemed unfathomable a month ago, try $17 corn and $55 soybeans this month. According to Terry Roggensack, founding principal of the Hightower Report, prices that high can’t be ruled out.

Roggensack was a commentator on the CME Group’s Aug. 9 conference call ahead of August’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). He looked at the price highs set in 1973, the last time the world corn and soybean supply situation was as tight as it is today, and extrapolated in constant dollars what prices would need to be today to ration demand.

His answer: $17.59 for corn and $55.09 for soybeans. And that doesn’t factor in inflation. Balance sheets don’t work

The other commentator on the call, Dan Basse, president of AgResources, declined to provide a price ceiling for either corn or soybeans. “The cash market will tell us how high prices will go,” says Basse. “I can’t figure out the balance sheet.” The numbers don’t work, he adds.

The hottest July on record in the lower 48 states and one of the driest ever has destroyed much of the nation’s corn and soybean crops. Roggensack estimates that many fields will be zeroed out for insurance purposes. Some reports from irrigated cornfields, he says, are that yields are 20% below expectations.

Basse also thinks the final corn yield could be below or near 120 bushels. Slice 4 million harvested acres from USDA’s projections and corn production would drop to between 10 billion and 10.5 billion bushels, which means corn would need to go to $9.85 to nearly $11 to ration current demand.

“This leaves us with in a big, big problem: Who’s going to go without? Is it the livestock guy? Is it the exporter? Is it the ethanol producer? Our bet at the moment is that the livestock people will take the brunt,” Basse says.

He also expects corn exports to drop to levels not seen since 1974. “We have balance sheets that are almost unsolvable,” he adds.

Soybean fields, which were planted early along with cornfields this year, have also sustained irreparable damage. “There are a lot of reports of fields with no beans coming out of the pods,” Roggensack says. To make matters worse, South America, where the 2011-12 soybean crop was 807 million bushels lower than the 2010-11 crop, is now running low on soybeans. “Soybeans could have a massive run higher,” he adds.

The current supply-driven markets are not a U.S. issue alone. In the past year, the world’s projected supply of grains has dropped by 180 million metric tons. “This is shocking. This is getting people at the United Nations very concerned,” says Basse. “The poor in the world are going to see tremendous pressure on their budgetary expenditure for calories. This has become a very scary situation, particularly for those in the world who are impoverished.”

No longer is this a “what price can you buy the grain for” type of market, says Basse. It is now a “do you have the grain” type of market. “There will likely be a long tail on this drought that will carry into the winter,” he adds. A late frost will be critical to maximize U.S. corn and soybeans production, soil moistures need to be replenished, the winter wheat crop needs to be good, and weather in South America and Australia also needs to be nearly perfect.

“Any kind of price weakness will result in a buying opportunity,” Basse says. But that will be difficult for livestock producers to swallow when corn prices are already above $8 per bushel and soybeans are higher than $16.

December Corn

Chart: Prices working on the second consecutive ‘inside day’. Market is showing a good deal of indecision at this point. Momentum indicators are correcting – but have a long way to go. The gap between 676 and 685 ¼ from July 5 is an attractive target, near the 50% retrace of the move.

Weekly Continuation Soybean Chat: 2 consecutive inside bars on the weekly chart. Market is preparing to make a decision here near term.