2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour – Day 1

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August 19th, 2013

Here we go again! The Pro Farmer Crop Tour kicked off today with the eastern leg starting its trek from Columbus. This is my second year on the tour and it is amazing what you can learn in a year. This year I come prepared with a new set of Frogg Toggs so my clothes aren’t soaking wet until lunch after bathing in a field of soybeans first thing in the morning.

Even technology has come quite a ways as far as being able to post things to the online news sight from the road, shoot videos of interesting finds along the way and even do interviews right from my smart phone. At this rate, we might just sent it along for the ride next year and leave me at home. Who am I kidding? This is honestly one of the most fun weeks of the year for me. All the guys and gals along the trip are great to spend time with, not to mention that I am getting paid to scout corn and bean fields all day. Yep, this is my JOB!

So what should you look for as we hit the road? I will be updating you with pictures, videos and conditions as we head west through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota. Variability will be the key word as we go and although many of the areas could use a good rain, this week looks like a mostly dry one at this point, with some heat later in the week. Updates are on the way and thanks for coming along, albeit virtually.


We are two stops in and have hit Delaware and Marion counties in Ohio. The corn has looked really nice thus far and the beans have been average. For the corn, lets put it this way, if you were to tell the farmer what we project his yield might be he would smile through Wednesday. The beans have been average with some aphid pressure in both fields. The ground is dry as to be expected, but if you dig just a little the moisture is still there in these fields.


The corn samples from Marion County, Ohio


A Marion County soybean field


As we continue through Marion County we hit a bean field that didn’t looks so hot from the road, but looks were deceiving. Check out the pods on these smaller plants!


Marion County soybean field #2

After 3 stops we have seen prospective corn yields of 113 on the low side to 206 on the high. Soybeans have 270 pods in a 3 foot row to 516.

The only pressure so far has been the corn smut seen below which did affect this field’s data.


Marion County corn field #2


We moved through Wyandot and Hardin Counties and have already scouted 3 corn fields, that by our projection, will yield over 200 bu/ac. The beans in Hardin County were the best yet with 1209 pods in a 3ft x 3 ft space. The 4-bean pod was found in Wyandot County.


Wyandot County corn field


A four-bean pod in Wyandot County


Japanese beetles in a Hardin County soybean field


A possible 200 bushel corn field in Hardin County


As we made our way to Allen County we really saw some of the effects of the dry weather as soybean pods fell off simply as we counted them.

The corn is still showing signs of a promising harvest. Not counting our by far lowest estimate of 113 bushel to the acre, we are ranging anywhere from 162 to 206 with 5 of the 7 fields flirting with 200.


The Allen County corn sample


Found some grey leaf spot in Allen County


With 10 inch rows, this Allen County soybean field had 1544 pods in a 3 x 3 plot


Putnam County is where we found our most impressive field of corn. Our yield guess for this crop is 223 bushels per acre. No disease or insect pressure at all and the health of this field was A+.


The best corn field so far was in Putnam County


Found a case of Frog Eye in a Paulding County soybean field and ears of corn that were impressive but populations were low. This field will yield 156 bu/ac. The beans were heavily populated with 7 1/2 inch rows developing 1670 pods in a 3 foot square.

Frog Eye in Paulding County

Frog Eye in Paulding County


A Paulding County Corn Field


Before lunch we wanted to hit one more set of fields in Ohio and glad we did. The corn in field #2 in this county was in the dent stage and looking to yield a solid 236 bushels.


We found our first soybean field with downey mildew in Paulding County as well.

As we leave Ohio we can’t help but notice they produce wind energy here as well.


Wind turbines in Paulding County, Ohio


Our journey through Ohio is complete. Our corn yield estimate averaged 189.7 and our soybeans averaged 1030 pods in a 3 x 3ft plot. On to the Hoosier State.

I have seen some Illinois farmers on Twitter talking about “tip-back” being a major concern with the heat and lack of rain. I figured we would see some later in the week, but we found it in our first Indiana field. The yield loss can be significant in this circumstance and this field was well below the average thus far.

The beans had7.5 inch rows and an abundant population to end up with 2592 pods in a 3ft square, the most we’ve seen so far today.


Allen County, Indiana corn with “tip back” issues


Soybeans in Allen County, Indiana


More “tip-back” in Adams County, Indiana. This field is prepped to yield 191, in our estimate.


Corn in Adams County, Indiana


In Wells County, Indiana there was even more “tip-back” which is always a concern for the corn, but we also saw something that could really hinder the beans. In this field, SDS was noticed in several areas.


Our final stop of the day is in Blackford County and it was nothing to write home about. This was the worse “tip-back” we’ve seen today and the yield potential is 118 bu/ac. The soybeans were in 30 inch rows and that was a first for the day. A 3 x 3ft area had a pod count of 777.


Blackford County, Indiana with 30 inch rows

Ohio results: Estimated rough corn yield = 171.64

Soybean pod count in a 3 x 3 square = 1283.61

Detailed results for Ohio

Take a look at what happened on Day 2 of The Pro Farmer Crop Tour

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