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With numerous challenges over the past several years for producers, we at Mercer Landmark understand the need for a comprehensive risk management solution. We seek to provide our customers with unparalleled service to ensure maximum results.

Archive for August, 2013

August 15, 2013

By: News Release

By Ron Nichols, NRCS Public Affairs

Though little precipitation fell from the clouds last summer across central Ohio, David Brandt’s healthy soil delivered what the sky could not—moisture to his thirsty crops.

At harvest time, while other farmers in the area averaged only 60-70 bushels of corn per acre, Brandt’s yield was nearly twice that. He attributes the difference to the health and vitality of his soil — and his use of cover crops.

The results from a recent survey confirm that soil health-building cover crops delivered for many others affected by the drought, too.

More than 750 farmers, primarily from the drought-stricken upper Mississippi River watershed, responded last winter to a survey conducted by the USDA North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program and the Conservation Technology Information Center.

While average yield differences reported were not as dramatic as those experienced by Brandt — who has been farming with cover crops and other soil health-improving techniques for decades — farmers who planted corn after cover crops had a 9.6 percent increase in yield compared to side-by-side fields with no cover crops. Likewise, soybean yields were improved 11.6 percent following cover crops, according to the survey.

In the hardest hit drought areas of the Corn Belt, yield differences were even larger, with cover crop-growing farmers reporting an 11 percent yield increase for corn and a 14.3 percent increase for soybeans.

Soil health experts from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service hope the results from this survey will underscore one important on-farm benefit of soil health-building cover crops: weather resiliency.

Yield improvements reflected in the survey can be attributed to better rooting of the cash crop, along with reduced soil moisture loss through evaporation, said David Lamm, NRCS soil health expert. “In addition to reducing soil moisture loss through evaporation, the residue blanket of the cover crops likely lowered soil temperatures, too, reducing plant stress,” he said.

“Where cover crops have been used for several years, organic matter typically increases, improving soil aggregation, allowing better rainfall infiltration and improving soil water-holding capacity,” Lamm said. “That additional water infiltration capacity is also helpful in extreme rainfall events — reducing erosion and mitigating the potential downstream flooding,” he said.

Through its “Unlock the Secrets in the Soil” campaign, NRCS is helping America’s farmers adopt soil health management systems, including the use of cover crops as appropriate, to help the nation’s farmers improve soil health on their land.

According to Lamm, weather resiliency is just one of the many benefits farmers will harvest through improved soil health. “Farmers practicing healthy soil methods have expenses that are lower, yields that are similar or higher, and environmental impacts on soil, water, air and wildlife that are minimal or beneficial,” he said.

BY: Amy Battles – Mercer Landmark Agronomy Sales

It seems that more and more growers are embracing the benefits that cover crops can bring to their farm each year. Aside from improving crop yield cover crops can assist you in breaking up compaction, erosion control, lower your farm input costs, help with manure management, improve soil health, assist with weed suppression, and enhance water infiltration/percolation. When deciding what cover crop mixture will work best for you, first ask yourself the following questions:
1. What are your goals?
2. What crop are you following?
3. What crop are you going into?
4. How are you going to manage fertility?
5. What are your soils like?
6. What time of year is it?

If you are a beginning cover cropper, here are a few reliable combinations to get you started.

1. If you want to scavenge Nitrogen as well as other nutrients, Mercer Landmark recommends a mix of oats and radishes. We suggest planting 1.5 bu Oats and 2-5# of Oilseed radish/acre. This mix will also benefit from manure or around 40# N applied to achieve its maximum potential. This is one of our favorite mixes for guys just starting to experiment with cover crops because the oats and radishes will both winter kill and will provide great control over winter annuals. An oat and radish mixture will work well with both corn and soybeans.


Oats & Radishes       Nodules on Austrian Winter Peas          Soybeans planted into Cereal Rye

2. If you want to produce nitrogen and scavenge nutrients we recommend a mix of Austrian Winter Peas and Oilseed radish. There is no need to apply additional nitrogen with this mixture. This is another very popular combination to plant in front of corn, you can count on the peas to produce 60-120# of nitrogen, and the radishes will keep most of the N in the top soil root zone. The radishes will die over winter; however the peas may or may not die depending on temperatures and snow cover.

3. If you want to break up compaction, suppress weeds, and scavenge nutrients Cereal Rye or Annual Rye is a great option. A lot of growers tend to favor cereal rye because it is easier to kill. We recommend planting cereal rye in front of soybeans at 40-80#/acre (depending on timing and application method) between early September and mid-November.

When it comes to cover crops and maximizing your soil’s yield potential and health the opportunities are endless. For more information about cover crops and how they can benefit your farm talk with your local Mercer Landmark sales representative today.

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

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Iowa Corn
2013 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
IA1 99.23 6.55 16.02 29.56 175.65 52
IA2 101.87 6.58 15.56 30.00 174.48 30
IA3 98.94 6.72 15.73 30.15 176.96 53
IA4 98.67 6.57 15.59 29.62 170.00 52
IA5 94.84 6.29 15.33 29.47 163.43 38
IA6 102.25 6.51 15.86 29.79 177.11 84
IA7 93.00 6.37 15.85 29.35 160.12 37
IA8 94.44 6.34 15.96 30.00 159.63 16
IA9 97.5 6.66 15.83 29.29 175.14 28
Iowa Average 98.88 6.53 15.76 29.70 171.94 390
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 1 101.83 6.26 15.96 30.16 169.13 45
IA 2 97.73 6.06 15.89 30.09 160.68 30
IA 3 96.55 6.42 15.88 29.95 165.92 39
IA 4 97.29 6.22 15.87 30.05 161.45 44
IA 5 96.17 6.27 15.96 30.33 159.31 32
IA 6 95.30 6.18 15.76 30.15 156.43 59
IA 7 90.21 6.28 15.93 29.76 151.64 40
IA 8 84.38 5.99 15.01 30.23 125.10 20
IA 9 96.12 5.87 15.40 30.54 141.78 22
IA Average 95.70 6.20 15.79 30.10 157.09 330
Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Iowa Soybeans
2013 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
IA1 597.00 2.81 4.50 26.98 802.98 52
IA2 413.1 3.33 3.80 25.25 612.82 27
IA3 530.19 3.78 4.20 22.41 866.41 54
IA4 580.72 2.45 4.61 21.64 991.07 51
IA5 500.73 2.49 4.43 23.04 839.36 37
IA6 637.48 2.36 4.52 21.42 1112.14 74
IA7 583.20 2.97 4.86 19.39 1101.49 37
IA8 385.62 1.71 4.43 16.07 856.06 14
IA9 513.62 1.62 4.27 22.69 901.39 26
Iowa Average 554.42 2.69 4.42 22.43 927.30 372
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 1 806.01 3.12 4.97 26.40 1140.13 44
IA 2 767.85 3.07 4.80 25.06 1097.16 29
IA 3 741.31 3.86 4.96 24.19 1135.73 39
IA 4 727.49 3.29 4.94 22.53 1217.68 45
IA 5 853.09 3.38 4.86 23.95 1306.85 32
IA 6 736.11 3.70 4.85 21.77 1241.97 49
IA 7 625.33 3.64 4.77 19.42 1199.67 40
IA 8 610.87 3.29 4.60 20.00 1119.45 17
IA 9 651.92 2.92 4.80 20.84 1131.95 22
IA Average 732.76 3.44 4.85 22.82 1189.74 316

Will Illinois Corn Yields Outperform Iowa?

AUGUST 21, 2013

By: Jen Russell, AgWeb.com Managing Editor

The top two corn-producing states go head-to-head on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.

It’s Day Three of the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, and as scouts make their way through Iowa and Illinios, the word that keeps coming up is “variability.”

“The problems we’re seeing over here all go back to the planting process and the conditions that this crop was planted into,” says Pro Farmer editor Chip Flory, reporting from the Western leg of the Tour.

He said corn fields in Iowa were all over the map in terms of maturity.

“We were in one field that literally had four different levels of development on the corn that we were in–everything from very late milk to early dough on one ear, down to ears that we really couldn’t even count because they were just shooting silks,” Flory says. “The range of development in some of these fields is really astounding and more dramatic than I expected to see.”

Flory says that the weather this year hasn’t done Iowa any favors, either.

“It’s so strange to be going through fields that have planting issues because it was so wet during the planting season, and you’ve got cracks that are eight inches into the ground now,” he says.

Similar Story in Illinois

On the Eastern leg of the Tour, Pro Farmer senior market analyst Brian Grete says corn samples on his route so far have been anywhere from 100 bu. per acre to over 200 bu. per acre.

“It’s been all over the board in terms of variability, not only from field to field but within each field,” Grete says. ”A lot of the stuff that I’ve noticed here has been corn on corn acres are underperforming the corn that was planted on soybean acres from last year.”

He says he’s still seeing some dry conditions.

“Soil conditions are probably a little bit better than what I saw yesterday, but I came through a really dry area in eastern and northeastern Illinois. So, while it’s better, it’s not great by any means,” he says.

So will Illinois’ corn crop do better than Iowa’s this year?

“There’s potential there,” Grete says, “but it’s not uniform across the state, at least on the route that I’ve been on. We’ll see what the numbers spit out when all of the routes are tabulated tonight.”

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

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Minnesota Corn
2013 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
MN4 98.00 6.67 15.33 30.00 167.01 1
MN5 101.60 6.57 16.79 28.40 198.04 5
MN7 103.35 6.87 16.00 29.22 193.9 46
MN8 100.78 6.47 15.95 29.53 176.99 77
MN9 101.24 6.32 15.94 29.74 172.03 38
Minn. Average 101.60 6.55 15.98 29.46 181.09 167
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
MN 4 94.03 6.84 15.94 27.78 185.37 3
MN 5 95.00 6.28 15.50 29.24 163.11 11
MN 7 95.22 6.40 15.76 28.80 166.91 49
MN 8 99.15 6.39 15.97 29.11 173.99 68
MN 9 104.27 6.70 16.12 30.01 187.97 19
MN Average 98.13 6.42 15.90 29.13 172.53 150
Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Minnesota Soybeans
2013 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
MN4 672.00 3.00 4.00 30.00 806.4 1
MN5 373.65 4.4 4.2 24.00 543.0 5
MN7 663.75 4.33 4.62 26.43 908.24 45
MN8 643.82 3.89 4.59 25.35 937.03 76
MN9 548.15 3.62 4.23 26.82 736.35 39
Minn. Average 618.78 3.95 4.50 25.98 869.42 166
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 4 779.32 3.67 4.92 18.58 1732.69 3
MN 5 856.46 3.63 5.00 28.26 1091.51 10
MN 7 764.63 3.16 4.83 25.61 1105.62 48
MN 8 757.67 3.08 4.93 22.81 1051.80 69
MN 9 687.11 3.30 4.90 21.91 1174.35 19
MN Average 761.59 3.20 4.90 25.55 1099.44 148

Minnesota Puts on Show of Big Corn Numbers, for Now

AUGUST 23, 2013

By: Ed Clark, Top Producer Business and Issues Editor

When it comes to corn and soybeans 2013-style, Minnesota is a tale of two cities and then some, Pro Farmer’s Midwest Crop Tour found in its final four-day swing through the seven-state epicenter of U.S. corn and soybean country. Minnesota corn is nothing if not resilient this year, bouncing back with strong potential yields that contrast no less sharply with low soybean pod counts.

Scouts canvassing southern and central Minnesota found corn yields a strong 181 bu. per acre after pulling 167 samples. That bests last year’s and the three-year average by a margin even long time western tour scouts were not fully anticipating based on what they saw a day earlier in northern Iowa.

“That’s a big number,” acknowledges Chip Flory, Western Tour leader and Pro Farmer editor. “It came as a surprise to me,” adds Ken Eckhardt, scout and farmer from Minnesota Lake, Minn., who had 20% prevent plant this spring. While Eckhardt expected the strong showing in southwest Minnesota, yields in south central and southeast regions held up more than he expected based on the harsh spring and the cool summer that robbed the plant of growing degree days.

Despite those two double-whammies, on Eckhardt’s route, numerous field samples topped 200 bushels per acre and one, 278. True, some were more than 100 or more under that as there were dramatic field by field differences even within the same county.

Flory is quick to caution, however, that Minnesota’s corn crop still is a very immature one, thus yield potential will back track with anything less than perfect growing conditions from now to when it will be fully mature in early October. This year, of all years in recent history, the crop needs all of its average frost date the first week of October. For 2013, weather from now until frost is even more important than the weather from spring up to this point, Flory notes.

Such a relatively bullish corn yield picture this year for Minnesota, even if a cautious and tentative one, contrasts sharply with far weaker than average soybean yield possibilities due to low pod counts. Counts in a three-by-three foot square averaged 869, with one crop reporting district in central Minnesota coming in at just 543.

Most experts think counts in the range of 1,200 are necessary for good yields. Not only were pod counts light. Some samples discovered plants loaded with aphids, something scouts had not seen even in northern Iowa. Scouts also saw something highly unusual for late August: plants with numerous purple blooms that have little chance of maturing into harvestable beans barring a late first freeze that’s one for the record books.

t’s hard to picture corn and soybeans coming from the same state, even. “I see a pretty darn good corn crop, 180-plus,” says Steve Fellure, an Attica, Ind., producer, and scout. “Good ear counts told me farmers got the crop in satisfactorily.” That is, the crop that actually was planted and emerged, not counting the thousands of acres that were prevent plant that will reduce Minnesota’s production this year from 2012 even though its yield potential is higher.

Topping off just how bizarre this year has been, one farmer at Thursday night’s wrap-up meeting in Rochester, Minn., notes that he experienced something in 2013 he never has before: riding his snowmobile over corn acres planted in May that had more than a foot of fresh snow on them. Ironically, he considers such fields to be his best yielding ones, because unlike others, they got planted on time.

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

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Illinois Corn
2013 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
IL1 101.34 6.50 15.33 29.69 169.61 32
IL2 100.70 6.70 15.53 30.00 175.35 10
IL3 98.22 6.22 15.30 28.81 172.37 27
IL4 104.26 6.29 15.78 30.02 171.88 53
IL5 100.80 6.20 15.97 29.64 168.51 55
IL6 100.33 6.36 16.11 30.00 170.83 12
IL7 101.92 5.92 16.19 29.17 166.95 12
IL Avg. 101.49 6.29 15.73 29.65 170.48 201
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 94.32 6.03 15.44 30.39 146.58 30
IL 2 99.30 5.83 15.70 30.00 152.99 8
IL 3 98.84 5.96 15.98 30.21 157.61 20
IL 4 93.87 6.13 15.48 29.79 153.97 45
IL 5 89.26 5.61 15.33 29.65 136.48 38
IL 6 87.62 6.08 15.63 29.49 141.33 14
IL 7 97.03 5.97 15.46 30.18 150.76 11
IL Avg. 93.51 5.95 15.51 29.97 148.04 166
Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Illinois Soybeans
2013 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
IL1 722.84 2.10 4.97 22.74 1198.45 31
IL2 766.37 2.00 4.90 25.25 1154.34 10
IL3 534.95 1.96 4.19 16.57 1207.67 27
IL4 702.78 2.06 4.49 23.43 1069.02 55
IL5 501.49 1.99 4.33 17.97 1010.12 54
IL6 666.02 2.25 4.08 21.04 1151.78 12
IL7 807.06 2.08 4.75 22.92 1320.32 12
IL Avg. 636.44 2.04 4.49 20.85 1115.97 201
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 1 728.29 3.48 4.83 21.47 1271.59 27
IL 2 750.94 3.97 4.90 23.48 1197.79 8
IL 3 684.11 3.07 4.64 21.48 1188.35 20
IL 4 661.02 3.58 4.74 23.07 1079.51 45
IL 5 535.70 3.10 4.79 18.74 1073.02 37
IL 6 548.59 2.79 4.88 17.69 1176.99 15
IL 7 584.18 2.56 5.03 18.53 1168.54 11
IL Avg. 633.75 3.27 4.80 20.76 1149.47 164

Illinois Fields Underwhelm Pro Farmer Scouts

AUGUST 21, 2013

By: Boyce Thompson, AgWeb.com Editorial Director

Although yield estimates exceeded three-year averages, scouts encountered lots of variability in Illinois fields.

Though corn yields and soybean pod counts on the Illinois leg of the Pro Farmer Crop Tour exceeded three-year averages, scouts were left unimpressed with what they encountered.

Prior to the tour, scouts heard stories of impressive yields on Illinois farms. While they found some beautiful corn fields on pace to yield more than 200 bu. per acre, they tromped through many others that will be lucky to do half that level.

“We saw a ton of variability,” said Iowa farmer Chris Barron, who expected to see much better crops in Illinois than in Iowa. Instead, he saw lots of fields with yields in 170s and 180s, instead of the 200s. “We even saw one that will yield 104, which was kind of shocking.”

Scouts on the tour stop along roads where they can conveniently walk into both corn and soybean fields “We saw some crazy things,” said Minnesota’s Dick Overby.  ”Right across the road from here we saw the worst corn field and best soybean field, right next to each other.”

“The variability is absolutely off the charts,” said Brian Grete, senior market analyst for Pro Farmer, adding that “corn on corn absolutely did not perform.”

Despite the reports of extreme variability, corn and soybean crops in Illinois look like they will beat three-year trendlines. ProFarmer reported a yield estimate of 170 bu/per acre in corn, 15.3% above the three-year average of 148. Soybean pod counts, at 1,116 in a 3×3 square, were up 18.2% from last year.

Even within fields, scouts reported highly variable yields. Crops looked great from the road, but once they ventured 35 feet inside to take samples a different story emerged. Plants were suffering from water and nitrogen deficiencies.

Mark Bernard, a consulting agronomist to the Pro Farmer tour, found huge cracks in the ground due to a lack of water. Persistent dryness threatens to undermine corn and soybean yields in Illinois. Tipback problems plagued most corn fields.

If Illinois doesn’t get rain within the next 10 days, Bernard said, “We could take 5 to 10 percent off this crop.”

On the other hand, scouts reported few problems with insects or diseases.

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

  • Complete Iowa results will be released Thursday evening.
Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — W. Iowa Corn
2013 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
IA1 99.23 6.55 16.02 29.56 175.65 52
IA4 98.67 6.57 15.59 29.62 170.00 52
IA7 93.00 6.37 15.85 29.35 160.12 37
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 1 101.83 6.26 15.96 30.16 169.13 45
IA 4 97.29 6.22 15.87 30.05 161.45 44
IA 7 90.21 6.28 15.93 29.76 151.64 40
Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — W. Iowa Soybeans
2013 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
IA1 597.00 2.81 4.50 26.98 802.98 52
IA4 580.72 2.45 4.61 21.64 991.07 51
IA7 583.20 2.97 4.86 19.39 1101.49 37
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 1 806.01 3.12 4.97 26.40 1140.13 44
IA 4 727.49 3.29 4.94 22.53 1217.68 45
IA 7 625.33 3.64 4.77 19.42 1199.67 40

11th Hour Plays Out for Western Iowa

AUGUST 22, 2013

By: Ed Clark, Top Producer Business and Issues Editor

Western Iowa corn and soybeans still have potential, up to a point, but to pull it off crops need ideal conditions between now and harvest and no early frost.

There is no margin for error from here on out, simple as that. Even with that, no bin busters are anticipated by Pro Farmer’s Midwest Crop Tour scouts who pulled samples for the three crop reporting districts.

“Based on what I saw, western Iowa won’t make up for severe losses in Northeast Iowa and Southeast Minnesota,” says Brad Nelson, a corn and soybean producer near Albert Lea, Minn., and veteran scout. “It’s just going to be an ordinary crop, not a bin buster.”

The Iowa corn crop got progressively worse moving south to north largely because extremely wet conditions delayed planting, the result largely being an immature crop farther north for late August, adds John Orr, scout and crop and livestock producer near Fayette, Iowa.

Overarching reasons: late planting, lack of rainfall, nitrogen losses and lack of growing degree units. Scouts on other legs, though certainly not all, had similar experiences. The one exception to what Nelson and Orr found was in extreme western Iowa not far from the Missouri River that has had a palette of better growing conditions, notably rainfall.

For Southwest, West Central and Northwest Iowa, Crop Tour yields averaged between 160.12 to 175.65 bushels per acre for corn, varying of course by crop reporting district. While an improvement over the three-year average, it’s not a huge one. Iowa totals will be released Thursday evening, August 22. In its August Crop Production report, USDA pegged Iowa’s expected yield of 163.

“This crop has a long ways to go,” says Chip Flory, Western Tour Director and Editor, Pro Farmer. “September will tell the story on Iowa.” Illustrating how strange the year is for Iowa, Flory adds this: “Heading North of Highway 169 from Ft. Dodge, fields were burnt up, it looked like a year ago. The next field was prevented plant.” Looking not only at Iowa, he wonders whether reports suggesting high to excellent growing conditions might be exaggerated. “We planted this crop so late, how can you have high expectations?”

Critical though the corn story is for western Iowa, the larger story at the moment might in fact be soybeans. ”We saw three or four pods on a plant,” says Jay Merryman, a scout from Marshalltown, Iowa. “We don’t have real potential out there on a lot of beans. I was surprised. The story right now, today, is beans.”

Tour estimates bear that out. Pod counts for western Iowa ranged from 802.98 to 1,101.49, below levels agronomists consider necessary for optimal yields. This is below the three-year average of 1,140.13 to 1217.68, and that includes the drought year of 2012.

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

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Indiana Corn
2013 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
IN1 93.97 6.34 15.39 29.71 155.98 35
IN2 103.07 6.52 16.05 30.00 178.43 28
IN3 92.13 6.62 15.92 30.25 161.65 24
IN4 89.42 7.00 15.64 27.89 175.69 19
IN5 98.45 6.62 15.85 30.16 171.21 49
IN6 95.04 6.38 16.07 29.69 162.67 26
IN Average 96.02 6.56 15.81 29.76 167.36 181
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 91.87 6.03 15.43 29.86 145.71 21
IN 2 92.03 5.93 15.66 30.14 144.05 19
IN 3 92.96 5.68 14.90 30.00 134.79 16
IN 4 86.53 5.79 15.48 28.24 142.18 20
IN 5 91.26 6.00 15.25 30.00 142.58 41
IN 6 89.94 5.68 15.35 29.93 135.18 22
IN Average 90.71 5.88 15.33 29.70 141.14 139
Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Indiana Beans
2013 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
IN1 535.66 2.52 4.39 17.88 1107.06 33
IN2 645.53 2.60 4.52 16.60 1537.84 25
IN3 414.06 2.21 4.83 13.23 1239.58 24
IN4 533.97 2.47 4.68 16.50 1155.35 19
IN5 463.29 2.20 4.61 15.22 1106.95 46
IN6 469.05 1.89 4.68 16.07 1064.27 28
Indiana Average 504.82 2.30 4.61 15.92 1185.14 175
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 1 503.03 3.05 4.88 17.15 1088.57 21
IN 2 544.81 3.07 4.81 15.81 1288.92 19
IN 3 495.93 2.86 4.59 15.55 1163.80 15
IN 4 505.36 2.92 5.00 17.27 1145.62 20
IN 5 446.24 3.00 4.80 14.72 1123.14 40
IN 6 415.29 2.60 4.62 15.50 995.27 22
IN Average 479.31 2.91 4.80 15.74 1136.48 137

Indiana Corn and Bean Bushels Bump Up

AUGUST 21, 2013

By: Nate Birt, Farm Journal Social Media and News Editor

Samples taken Tuesday across Indiana show the outlook for the state’s corn and soybean crops is quite positive, topping the three-year average for both crops. That’s according to data published as part of the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.

The estimated rough yield for Indiana corn is 167.36 bu./acre with 180 samples. The Tour estimated a 113.25 bu./acre yield for 2012 and 141.14 bu./acre is the three-year average.

“The ear populations were really strong, and that’s when you get the bigger yields,” says Brian Grete, Pro Farmer senior market analyst. Agronomist Mark Bernard says the sections of the state he toured were less positive than those in eastern Indiana, but he points out that the Crop Tour aims to get a sample across a broad section of crop-producing states.

Meanwhile, the soybean pod count in a 3’-by-3’ square was 1,185.14, out of 175 samples. During the 2012 Tour, the average pods in the same space totaled 1,033.24, and the three-year average is 1,136.48.

“If you haven’t changed your herbicide program in the last year, you’d better think about it next year, because things are going to get mighty serious,” says Byron Jones, a crop scout and farmer from Saybrook, Ill. One field his team viewed experienced heavy weed populations. Additionally, two fields planted in 36″ rows had exceptionally high pod counts.

“It’s wild this year,” Jones says. “You can’t predict what’s going to happen. And most of the area was very dry.”

As for whether the Eastern Corn Belt can make up for the poor conditions coming out of Iowa and Minnesota, Grete isn’t sure.

“I think the verdict’s still out, to be honest with you, and a lot of that depends on how it finishes out.”

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

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Nebraska Corn
2013 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
NE2 86.75 7.58 15.16 30.00 165.38 4
NE3 78.58 6.85 16.12 29.35 147.67 52
NE5 85.93 6.47 16.34 31.60 147.46 15
NE6 86.54 6.94 16.12 30.20 164.70 71
NE8 94.62 6.92 16.20 30.92 173.01 13
NE9 82.79 6.97 15.94 30.98 148.91 80
NE Avg. 83.91 6.91 16.06 30.40 154.93 235
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 78.33 6.16 15.12 30.83 128.21 5
NE 3 80.86 6.73 15.62 30.47 145.73 39
NE 5 91.66 7.12 15.83 32.73 163.49 17
NE 6 84.06 6.87 15.99 31.03 151.76 64
NE 8 89.99 7.17 16.11 31.76 163.26 11
NE 9 78.29 6.82 16.03 30.67 140.42 61
NE Avg. 82.44 6.85 15.89 30.98 147.93 197
Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Nebraska Beans
2013 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
NE2 499.34 4.33 5.00 23.33 746.97 3
NE3 680.34 3.79 4.71 21.82 1184.68 52
NE5 829.22 3.62 5.00 25.04 1197.26 13
NE6 799.50 3.16 4.78 25.61 1130.12 69
NE8 740.11 4.07 4.87 27.20 1007.99 15
NE9 811.92 3.43 4.84 25.68 1146.88 77
NE Average 770.48 3.49 4.81 24.81 1138.94 229
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 2 525.00 3.28 5.08 22.33 837.47 4
NE 3 728.80 3.65 4.83 22.14 1218.82 38
NE 5 953.36 3.93 4.82 29.93 1193.95 15
NE 6 766.24 3.81 4.85 24.12 1181.62 62
NE 8 988.26 3.83 4.79 25.73 1289.25 11
NE 9 703.92 3.55 4.81 24.09 1083.39 60
NE Average 764.80 3.71 4.83 24.25 1162.42 190

Drought Conditions Can’t Keep Nebraska Yields Down

AUGUST 21, 2013

By: Sara Schafer, AgWeb.com Business and Crops Online Editor

Results from the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour show strong corn and soybean yield potential, amid dry conditions.

Drought conditions are holding back the high potential of the Nebraska corn and soybean crops, but that’s not really a surprise. “Dry conditions in Nebraska are the norm,” says says Chip Flory, Pro Farmer editor and western tour director. “I think we’re looking at really average corn and soybean crops.”

After more than 230 samples in Nebraska, the average for corn yields is 154.93 bu./acre on the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. In 2012, the Nebraska corn yield estimate was 131.79 bu./acre and the three-year average for the state is 147.93 bu./acre.

For soybeans, scouts found an average of 1,138.94 pods in a three-foot by three-foot square. In 2012, the pod count in a 3-foot by 3-foot square was 894.43 and the three-year average is 1,162.42.

Nebraska ranks third in the U.S. in corn acres. As of Aug. 1, USDA has forecast the average corn yield in the state to be 161 bu./acre. For soybeans, Nebraska ranks sixth in the country for soybean acres. USDA has forecast a state yield average of 47 bu./acre. (On the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, soybean yield is not estimated.)

Currently, more than 95% of the state is experiencing abnormally dry weather, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. Several scouts report seeing signs of drought stress on the state’s corn and soybean crops.

Even though yield estimates are high, Jason Franck, western tour consulting agronomist, says he saw lots of uneven emergence in corn fields. “In the same field, you’d see ears that were in different stages of development,” he says.

Yet, overall, both the corn and soybean crops are further along in Nebraska, compared to the crops surveyed in South Dakota on Monday, Franck says.

Franck says he also saw some nitrogen deficiency, that wasn’t necessarily a major issue now. “But, in a few weeks that could become an issue if the weather conditions become challenging.

Flory says he’s not surprised corn yields are not higher. “We always measure Nebraska light,” he says. “The state is about 60% irrigated and 40% dryland, but the areas we cover are almost reverse of that (60% dryland and 40% irrigated).”

Trenton Shuck, a farmer from Edgar, Neb., counts himself lucky this year. Around his Clay County farm, a hail storm that rolled through about a month ago shredded corn and soybean fields in an 8-mile stretch.

“This is some of the worst damage I’ve ever seen,” he says. “Now some farmers in the area are starting to chop their damaged corn for silage and disc up their beans.”

Shuck was out today getting ready to turn on the pivots on some of his fields, when he ran into scouts on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. Temperatures are expected to stay around 90 degrees for the rest of the week.

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

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Ohio Corn
2013 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
OH1 92.47 7.12 16.23 30.00 177.64 30
OH2 92.75 7.19 15.39 30.00 170.97 12
OH4 90.97 6.94 15.51 29.64 166.27 39
OH5 98.82 6.85 15.83 30.00 178.38 22
OH7 91.67 6.30 15.89 30.00 153.18 6
Ohio Average 93.20 6.96 15.78 29.87 171.64 109
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 92.09 5.69 15.22 30.00 135.96 27
OH 2 95.66 5.81 14.77 29.51 141.42 12
OH 4 91.38 6.20 15.34 30.07 147.16 37
OH 5 85.83 6.21 15.62 29.51 145.85 19
OH 7 84.67 5.88 15.98 28.75 143.53 4
OH Average 90.64 6.03 15.38 29.82 144.12 99
Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — Ohio Soybeans
2013 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
OH1 391.33 2.33 4.83 13.17 1175.97 30
OH2 443.75 2.42 4.83 12.71 1331.83 12
OH4 463.18 2.59 4.85 13.33 1292.39 39
OH5 522.63 2.73 4.91 14.66 1379.87 22
OH7 577.67 2.00 5.00 17.50 1315.40 6
Ohio Average 459.57 2.50 4.86 13.72 1283.61 109
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 1 371.94 2.69 4.66 12.13 1141.83 27
OH 2 399.99 2.98 4.37 12.65 1223.61 12
OH 4 406.13 2.99 4.77 12.85 1213.42 37
OH 5 448.00 3.25 4.77 15.32 1152.02 19
OH 7 286.81 3.14 4.72 12.42 864.78 4
OH Average 397.63 2.93 4.70 13.11 1162.64 99

2013 Crop Tour: Ohio Corn, Beans Top Three-Year Average

With a total of 109 samples taken Monday across Ohio, the outlook for the state’s corn and soybean crops is above the three-year Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour average. That’s according to data published Monday night as part of the 2013 Tour.

The estimated rough yield for Ohio corn is 171.64 bu./acre. The Tour estimated a 110.50 bu./acre yield for 2012 and 144.12 bu./acre is the three-year average.

Nonetheless, crop quality varied by county.

“I didn’t really see any eye-popping stuff,” says Brian Grete, senior market analyst, Pro Farmer.

In contrast, agronomist Mark Bernard saw limited agronomic issues, though dry conditions are evident in western Ohio.

“Ohio’s crop does have some potential to be pretty darn good,” Bernard says.

The soybean pod count in a 3’-by-3’ square was 1,283.61 on average, out of 109 samples. During the 2012 Tour, the average pods in the same space totaled 1,033.72, and the three-year average is 1,162.64.

“Beans looked pretty darn impressive for pod counts,” says Kyle Wendland, an Iowa producer on the eastern leg.

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

Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — S.D. Corn
2013 District Ear Count in 60 ft of Row Grain Length
(inches)
Kernel Rows Around Row Spacing
(inches)
Yield
(per bu.)
Samples
SD5 76.00 7.50 16.67 30.00 158.37 1
SD6 88.76 6.95 15.92 29.25 167.94 24
SD9 79.00 7.30 16.26 29.49 157.59 35
S Dak. Average 82.85 7.16 16.13 29.40 161.75 60
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 46.50 6.17 15.98 28.33 114.53 1
SD 6 77.24 6.29 15.59 29.97 134.57 15
SD 9 70.38 5.73 14.50 30.57 111.73 29
SD Average 72.17 5.95 14.93 30.32 119.65 45
Pro Farmer Crop Tour Data — S.D. Beans
2013 District Pod Count in
3 feet
Soil Moisture Growth Stage Row Spacing
(inches)
Pod Count in
3 X 3 Square
Samples
SD5 1458.30 3.00 5.00 30.00 1749.96 1
SD6 687.07 3.58 4.42 27.21 942.83 24
SD9 712.77 3.63 4.37 24.49 1046.37 35
S Dak. Average 714.91 3.60 4.40 25.67 1016.68 60
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 5 573.73 2.67 4.83 28.50 722.55 1
SD 6 751.36 3.66 4.69 27.14 1018.65 15
SD 9 662.49 3.10 4.79 25.78 975.84 28
SD Average 691.13 3.28 4.76 26.39 984.62 44

Stellar Corn Yields Predicted for South Dakota

Based on more than 60 samples in South Dakota, corn yields look to be the higher than the three-year average on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.

While last year was definitely a rare occurrence due to the record drought, but it’s still nice to be able to say corn yields will more than double this year (over 2012) in South Dakota.

Lawrence Landsteiner, a farmer from Minnesota Lake, Minn., has attended 12 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tours. He says today, he saw some of the best crops he’s ever seen in South Dakota. “There’s just no major stress on this crop,” he says.

After 60 corn samples in South Dakota, scouts on the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour found an expected average corn yield of 161.75 bu./acre. In 2012, the South Dakota corn yield estimate was 74.25 bu./acre and the three-year average for the state is 119.65 bu./acre.

South Dakota ranks sixth in the country for corn production. As of Aug. 1, USDA forecasts the 2013 South Dakota corn crop to average 138 bu./acre.

Chip Flory, Pro Farmer editor and western tour director, says the South Dakota corn crop is obviously better than average. But, it is still behind.

“In terms of maturity, the South Dakota corn crop is in late milk or very early dough stage,” he says. “This corn crop will need every bit of September, and it would be nice to get 10 days of October before the first frost. We have a bit of a race going on.”

For soybeans, scouts found an average of 1,016.7 pods in a three-foot by three-foot square. In 2012, the pod count in a 3-foot by 3-foot square was 584.93 and the three-year average is 984.62. South Dakota ranks seventh in the country for soybean production. USDA’s forecast for soybean yields is 36 bu./acre. (On the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, soybean yield is not estimated.)

Landsteiner says if the soybeans have the whole month of September to mature, they’ll do OK.

Another crop scout, Tim Chapman, of Toyota Tsusho America, agrees. “Blooming is over with in most of the state,” he says. “We just need time for this crop to fill out.”

Crop scouts on the western leg also spent half the day taking samples in Nebraska. Corn and soybean estimates for Nebraska will be released tomorrow night, in Nebraska City, Neb.