Eastern Tour – Day 4
My route took me west out of Iowa City and then north up along Highway 150 and then up Highway 63 from New Hampton. The corn we sampled along my route had an average yield of 165.5 bu. per acre, with a range of 130 bu. to 221 bu. per acre.
The average soybean pod count in a 3’x3’ square from my route was 1056.7, with a range of 528 to 1354.1.
My route made only one stop in Fillmore County, Minnesota before heading into Rochester.
Final Day 4 observations
The corn and soybean crops my route sampled in east-central and northeast Iowa left me less than impressed. While there were some high-yielding and heavily podded fields, there was a lot of variability – way more than I anticipated.
One of the biggest surprises was the variability in the number of ears we counted in the two 30-foot rows in fields. Usually the number of ears in each of those rows is similar. But it wasn’t uncommon along my route to see it off by 5 or more ears.
That’s quite the variance and is largely what kept yields from being bigger. There are way too many missing ears from rows. We also saw a lot of variability in the three ears we pulled from one of those rows (5, 8 and 11). Often, at least one of the three ears pulled was short and/or showed some signs of pollination issues.
We also noted a lot of variability in soybean pod counts. There was a little more consistency in district 3 than district 6, but there was still a fair amount of variability.
While maturity of both the corn and soybean crops in eastern Iowa was better than what we saw the first three days this week, we still sampled plenty of fields that are behind. But reaching maturity shouldn’t be an issue for most of those fields unless there’s an early killing frost.
Bottom line from my route today, the eastern Iowa crop my crew sampled left me disappointed, especially the corn. While spring conditions weren’t ideal, I expected to see more consistency than we did.
I would like to thank all of the scouts on this year’s Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. You worked hard, as always, and adapted to some unusual circumstances. As I say every year, we can’t do what we have to do during Crop Tour without your hard work and extreme dedication. Jeff, Chip, Emily, Mark and I can’t thank you enough for all you did for us this week. We hope to see all of you back for the 2020 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.