Our Crop Tour provides a firsthand, objective look at the 2021 corn, soybean crops
This marks the 29th year of the Pro Farmer Crop Tour. Because USDA no longer collects objective yield samples in August, this will be the industry’s first broad look at field data from across the Corn Belt. The objective of Crop Tour is to find a representative sample of yield potential across the seven Corn Belt states from the roughly 1,500 samples each of corn and soybeans.
How to receive up-to-date information from Tour
There will be exclusive daily route reports from Tour leaders on www.profarmer.com. Also, don’t forget to log on for the live-streamed Crop Tour meetings each evening where you will get daily Tour results and route observations from Tour participants.
Tour leaders and consultants will provide daily commentary in “From the Rows” on www.profarmer.com. Also, tune into AgriTalk each day at 10:06 a.m. and 2:06 p.m. CT on www.agweb.com/agritalk or the AgriTalk app, or your favorite farm radio station to hear a Crop Tour update.
Search #PFTour21 on Twitter to get Tour-related tweets and follow @BGrete, @ChipFlory, @BruceBlythe, @MNWeedWizard, @emily_floryag14 and @brent8320r for tweets from the field each day. Follow @MeghanVick and @profarmer for daily Tour results.
Compare with last year; apply the historical difference
The best analysis of this year’s data will be to compare state-by-state results to last year’s Tour, with close attention to the percentage changes. Also, apply the historical difference for each state! We know the yield calculated during Crop Tour will be different than USDA’s final yield for each state. Fortunately, we know by how much on average.
The historical difference is the result of where the Tour travels. Examples: In Nebraska, about 60% of the corn crop is irrigated, but Crop Tour samples include about 40% irrigated fields. In Minnesota, we cover only the highest yielding southern districts. There are reasons for the differences and understanding them makes Tour yields valuable.
On soybeans... no yield, but lots of data
The number of soybean pods it takes to make a bushel is different in each state. Instead of yield, we calculate the number of pods in a 3X3-foot square. Compare pod counts to past Tour data to get an idea about the size of this year’s yield “factory.”