Day 1 – Monday, August 20th, 2012
6:30am – It was an early start this morning as I joined my very first Pro Farmer Crop Tour. So far so good for me as the eastern leg of the tour once again started in Columbus. That made it relatively easy to get going after one last night in my own bed.
Many scouting teams will be part of the effort this week and we have all been given very strict instructions as to what to do at every field. The data collected over the past 20 years has been quite precise and it is our job to make sure that continues as many in the U.S. and around the World watch what comes our of our surveys in fields from Ohio to Minnesota.
My goal is to make you feel as though you are on this tour as well. I will be using every aspect of media to make that happen. You will see pictures from various fields, videos of our work and interviews with those I share a ride and scouting duties with.
Before we took off I caught up with the leader of the eastern leg, Brian Grete with Pro Farmer. He and I talked about the logistics of the tour and how the markets tend to take note of the results.
The eastern leg’s agronomic consultant is Mark Bernard and he says some surprises are awaiting us as we head west.
As you might imagine, it took us a little while to get through the concrete jungle that is Columbus, but once we did my curiosity was peaked to see if the results we get are comparable with those gathered just last week in the I-75/I-71 Ohio Crop Tour.
7:30am – My home county of Delaware was our first stop.
As you can see, ears of corn struggled to fill and after our figures were tabulated, yield was estimated at 121 to the acre.
As far as the beans were concerned, pods were easy to count and it didn’t take long. We will only be evaluating the condition of the soybeans on this trip and although they looked good from the road, they were rated poor to very poor by our group.
We took State Route 36 due west through Union, Champaign, Miami and Darke counties. So far we are calculating an average yield of around 120 bushel for corn. Once again on beans we are taking a count of pods in a 3 x 3 square and we are right around 700 thus far.
Minnesota farmer Richard Guse visited with me about his thoughts on Ohio’s crop.
10:15am – Our last stop in the Buckeye State was in Darke County. It was a field that you can see has simply struggled through the summer. According to our estimates, this field will be in the mid 80′s as far as yields are concerned.
Minnesota farmer Richard Guse talks about his experience during the first day of the 2012 Pro Farmer Crop Tour.
1:45pm – After lunch we continued our trek through Indiana and the numbers are declining rapidly. We figure just over 50 bushels to the acre for a corn field in Randolph County and a smidge above 60 for Union County. From the road the fields look promising, then once you are in the thick of them you can barely find an ear to grab on to. Pollination looked sporadic and the knife marks in between rows tells how the farmer tried every last thing to try to savage the crop, but to no avail.
For the beans the majority of the fields we have sampled have visual evidence of Japanese beetles. Pod counts have varied from the 700′s to as high as 1300 in one Indiana field.
3:00pm – Things aren’t looking much better as we travel southeast Indiana. We just pulled out of a field in Rush County and the corn is pegged at 66 bushels an acre with our math and the beans had a 318 pod count in a 3 by 3 area, the second lowest of the day. Take a look at the pictures from our latest stop.
5:15pm – As many of the scout teams meet up in Fishers, Indiana this evening there have been some interesting stories and intriguing figures rolling in. The Pro Farmer team will take all of today’s data and have some estimates for Ohio later tonight.
8;20pm – Here are the Ohio corn results from the 2012 Pro Farmer Crop Tour.
Ear Count = 82.11/ 30 ft -11.6% from 2011
Grain Length = 5.29 in -17.3% from 2011
Kernels Around = 14.41 -8.4% from 2011
Yield Estimate = 110.5 -29.3% from 2011
And for soybeans in Ohio
Pods in a 3 foot row = 377.8 -28% from 2011
Pods in a 3 foot square = 1033.7 -17.8% from 2011
Growth Stage = 5.1 +8.3% from 2011
Moisture = 2.52 -9.7% from 2011