The first day of the 2014 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour concluded with the release of official results from Ohio and South Dakota. Ohio samples resulted in an average corn yield of 182.11 bu. per acre and an average soybean pod count of 1,342.42 in a 3'x'3 square. South Dakota samples resulted in an average corn yield of 152.71 bu. per acre and an average soybean pod count of 1,057.80 in a 3'x'3 square.
The eastern leg traced a route from Dublin, Ohio, to Fischers, Indiana, and found wide variability and a range of yields.
Pro Farmer Editor and eastern Tour Director Brian Grete noted, "Our first stop (on his route) was our worst corn yield calculation at 140.7 bu. per acre, while our last stop in Ohio was our best yield at 287.2 bu. per acre. For the seven samples we collected in western Ohio, my route's average yield calculation was 189.8 bu. per acre. Obviously, the corn crop is going to need time to realize the yield potential we measured today. But with that said, an early end to the growing season isn't as much of a concern in western Ohio and eastern Indiana as it is in some other areas. As for soybeans, there was a lot of variability on our route today. In western Ohio, we had pod counts in a 3'X3' square of 988.8 to 2,171. The average pod count for my route was 1,492. When we crossed the border into eastern Indiana, soybean pod counts declined noticeably."
Eastern Tour Consultant Mark Bernard said, "In the corn crop, some nitrogen deficiency was evident as were some drowned out spots. In many instances, one could see the track yet from the side dress nitrogen as well as the large cracks in the ground from being extremely dry. All fields could use a rain and some will be necessary if this crop is to maintain the potential we measured today. On the soybean side, pod counts were up on our route compared to last year’s numbers. Weed control issues are becoming more commonplace as several scouts mentioned seeing what could possibly be glyphosate resistant waterhemp is cropping up."
The western leg followed a route from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to Grand Island, Nebraska, where scouts observed some significant disease problems in corn, but most scouts were impressed by the general health of the corn and soybean crops.
Western Tour Leader and Pro Farmer Editorial Director Chip Flory commented, "Last year, the southeastern portion of South Dakota (where the Tour samples), was probably the highest yielding area of the state and we ended up with a very high average yield of 161.75 bu. per acre. This year, the southeastern portion of the state might be pulling down the average yield for the state as later-planted corn in the central and northern crop districts on South Dakota's east coast is actually performing better than earlier-planted corn in the southeast. I talked with several growers that agreed the population was likely cut by a late-spring frost as many of the plants just... looked weird. They were damaged at some point, but are doing what they can to make corn."
In addition to covering southeast South Dakota on the first day of the Tour, scouts also covered everything east of highway 281 and north of the Platte River in Nebraska.
Western Tour Consultant Jason Franck said, "Three things were showing up. First, drowned out areas that had been replanted; secondly, hail damage was more noticeable this year than I have ever seen before, and; thirdly, weed pressure/water hemp was consistently showing up throughout most of these fields. Really I think going into this Tour, many were wondering how good this crop could be and how much time do we need to finish it off. And seeing what I saw today, confirms that most of the crop (corn & beans) need 5-6 more weeks of decent weather, to make this crop in South Dakota and Nebraska something special."
As the 2014 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour continues, look to Profarmer.com to give you perspective and commentary on this year's results.
For more information:
See full coverage of the 2014 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, hosted by Pro Farmer.
Take your own field measurements and participate in Pro Farmer's Virtual Crop Tour.