Analysis: Why Measuring Potential Is Different This Year on Crop Tour

Every year, Pro Farmer releases its estimates of the potential yield for corn and soybean crops in The Corn Belt. 

“What we’ve seen since August 1 is that the crop has gone backwards,” says Pro Farmer editor, Brian Grete. 

Analysts and scouts on the Pro Farmer Crop Tour say 2020 is different than the rest, mainly because of weather. 

“I would say that the 2020 tour was about [the] opposite of what we’ve been on in 2018 and 2019,” says Jarod Creed, of JC Marketing Services. 

Creed says late planting conditions, too much water and a cooler growing season had a different impact on the tour for 2018 and 2019 on how the crop may finish. 

“We were concerned about getting too cool, too early last year, not making it to maturity and black-layer in the corn crop and maturity of soybeans,” says Creed. “This year, it’s a matter of [if] we can slow down the crop before it dies.”

AgDay Meteorologist Matt Yarosewick says hot and humid conditions are likely to continue for the week. 

Yarosewick says,  “If we go a little bit farther in time here through the middle of this week, [the weather model] isn’t showing really much in the way of relief of that heat and humidity across the South, maybe a little bit across the Northern [States] with milder air.”


“We are running the risk of seeing some extremely light test weight as the crop dies prematurely from lack of moisture,” says Creed. “[For] soybeans, [it’s] starting to abandon pods in the next week or two.” 

Now, farmers around the Corn Belt hope for a shot of rain but not too much as harvest approaches.


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