The second day of the 2014 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour concluded with the release of official results from Indiana and Nebraska. Indiana samples resulted in an average corn yield of 185.03 bu. per acre and an average soybean pod count of 1,220.79 in a 3'x'3 square. Nebraska samples resulted in an average corn yield of 163.77 bu. per acre and an average soybean pod count of 1,103.26 in a 3'x'3 square.
The eastern leg traced a route from Fischers, Indiana, to Bloomington, Illinois, and found a crop with good yield potential in need of finishing rains.
Pro Farmer Editor and eastern Tour Director Brian Grete noted, "The most noticeable change from what we saw on Day 1 was the maturity of the crop. The Indiana corn crop on my route was much more advanced. Plant health was also strong. And consistent with the first day, ear counts were high, ranging from 88 to 121. For soybeans, our pod counts in a 3'X3' square averaged 1,284.45, with a range from 876 to 1,982.4. Of the fields we sampled, only one had some blooms. In that field, late-season rains could build the yield 'factory.' But in the other fields, late-season rains would still help fill pods. The more rain the Hoosier state gets from late August to mid-September, the more yield potential the crop will hold onto."
Eastern Tour Consultant Mark Bernard said, "Corn yields on today's route were more variable than yesterday's Ohio route. The soils in the area we traveled are lighter and many fields have many center pivots. Being a bug, weed and disease guy, I was more in my element today. There actually were some issues in some of the soybean fields. Not all were serious on our route but they were noticed. There was of course some nitrogen deficiency, along some lodging where western corn rootworm beetles have been prevalent. In the soybeans we found the first SDS we've seen on this Crop Tour."
The western leg followed a route from Grand Island, Nebraska, to Nebraska City where scouts observed some changes over year-ago and noted a water hemp problem that Chip Flory says could be a drag on future Nebraska
Western Tour Leader and Pro Farmer Editorial Director Chip Flory commented, "The best of the dryland yields basically equaled the bottom end of the range of irrigated corn yields. Just like last year, the top-end of the irrigated yields didn't blow through the roof, but the dryland yields pushed closer to last year's all-sample yield for Nebraska. In soybeans, the average number of pods in a 3' X 3' square was 1,103.26, down 3.1% from year-ago. I really didn't see much difference between this year's bean crop and the 2013 bean crop. But I do know this about the bean crop in Nebraska... we've got to get the water hemp problem under control. There are way too many bean fields with way too much water hemp and if we don't get it under control now, it's only going to be a drag on yields in the years ahead."
Western Tour Consultant Jason Franck said, "One thing I noticed instantly was how much water hemp was surrounding the outside edge. As normal, we got off the end rows and made our 35 paces in, only to find some disappointment. For irrigation, I expected the ear counts to be better. As we continued on, this poor ear count continued to be our theme of the day. In regards to the soybeans, on our route we had a very consistent day. Our pod numbers did not seem to fluctuate that much. Comparing to the three-year average, we were right in line with the average. I saw from the road only two weed-free fields on day two. I remember from last year that this was a growing problem throughout Nebraska, but I underestimated how quickly it would advance year over year."
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.