Presented by: J & M Manufacturing Co.
Today you should be thankful that you are “virtually” along for the ride because today our driver is Pro Farmer’s Senior Market Analyst Brian Grete. Brian and I have a 3-year running tradition where we sing every country song we hear as loud as we possible can. We’ll attempt to get the other members of our crew, Russ Warren of Wal-Mart and Nick Siegle, an asset manager from London to join in. The corn may be wilting for other reasons on our route but I digress.
If yesterday was any indication, today could continue to get better as we go west. We start in Central Indiana and will end the day in Bloomington, Illinois. I am told that the variability that we saw through west central Ohio and east central Indiana will level off as we go today.
Our first stop was in Millersburg, Indiana and we travel up state road 19. Great morning as you can see by the pictures below. The beans we 3 1/2 feet tall and very healthy. The population was very high, but the pod count suffered as a result coming in at under 1000 pods per 3 by 3 foot square. The corn also looked amazing from the road but as you got further into the field, ear size dwindled a bit. The one thing that our crew couldn’t help but notice was mud on our boots. Didn’t see that all day yesterday and the ear fill told us that moisture has done some good recently.
Hillisburg, Indiana was the next stop and the gravel road we were on wasn’t throwing dust so this area just some overnight rain. The beans are much easier to pull when the ground is wet so we were able to see the great root development in this field. Pod counts were still under 1000 for this field, but there were still plenty of opportunity for additional yield. The corn had a very heavy population and our estimate is close to 170 bushels to the acre for this field.
Just east of Sedalia, Indiana on route 26 we checked a great field of corn. Every ear sampled had 20 around and the plant health was excellent. Our yield estimate for this stop is just over 200 bushels to the acre. The soybeans were some of the more mature ones found on the tour so far and the were strong as well. We have a number of approximately 1500 pods in a 3 foot square here. Rain did not hit here overnight or anytime in the last week. Dirt is dry here.
This stop is between Flora and Delphi, Indiana where we ran into monstrous ears of corn and our first 30 inch row soybean field. The corn pop level made the yields a little lower than expected at around 180. The beans came in over 1900 as the population was higher than most seen this week. Insects, namely grasshoppers and stinkbugs were all over this bean field. As we travel late morning we are seeing some beans turning as we walk on more dry dirt.
We are in the land of windmills as we travel northwest of Lafayette, Indiana on route 18 and this corn field was not up to par for what we have been seeing so far today. The field was flooded out in parts early on in the season and that stress caused us to call for a yield of 147 bushels. The beans were really nice with strong nodualtion and heavy pod counts of almost 1600 pods in a 3 by 3 square.
West of Otterbein, Indiana on state route 52 we found a great field of corn that was well into the dent tage. We will see plenty of corn like this over the next two days, but this is the nicest Indiana field our route has run into today. It looks very promising with a yield guess by our crew of 215 bushels to the acre. Soybeans across the road were coming along just fine as well, no weed pressure or diseases to speak of and a strong pod count of 1200 pods in a 3 x 3 foot square.
Our last stop before crossing into Illinois was in Ambia, Indiana. The tallest beans I have seen thus far this week, but the pods just weren’t there as you would expect. We had a count of 876 in a 3 x 3 foot square. The corn field was showing signs of leaf pressure and some leaching, even as we got deeper in the field. Our average corn yield estimates for our Indiana stops, 7 in all, came in at 183.59. Our pod count average was a very solid 1284.45. All in all, plant health was a bit better today than yesterday and some resent rains will help the field we scouted today finish nicely.
This is “corn country”! We are in east central Illinois and our stop at lunch in Hoopeston, Illinois allowed us to meet a few farmers who are hopeful for a nice crop. On down the road, north of East Lynn, Illinois we took our first sample for the state. The corn ears were a little smaller that what we have pulled today and the yield number, 160 bushels, although still decent, will not make this farmer happy. The beans were over 4 feet tall and very clean. Our pod count worked out to be over 1200 pods in a 3 foot square.
Our fields for this stop are in Melvin, Illinois. Of all the things that will mess up this field’s yield, planter calibration will be the culprit here. What could have been 9 inch ears were 5 due to plants being on top of each other in many parts of the field. Our yield estimate is 186 but could have been over 200 with a planter test in the spring. The soybeans are tall all over this part of the state and this nicely developed field had over 1300 pods in a 3 x 3 square.
Rain has moved into the area and the crops here near Saybrook, Illinois need it. Looks like it won’t be a soaker but at this point, every bit helps and with the tip back issues we have seen lately show drought stress in east central Illinois. This Saybrook corn field is just weeks away from being harvested and it currently holding on to decent numbers. Our yield guess is close to 180. The beans still had quite a bit of potential with many pods coming along. We pegged a 1212 count of pods in a 3 by 3 foot square.
The quality of the corn crop has not improved much as we get closer to Bloomington, Illinois. In fact, this Arrowsmith (McLean County) corn field was much younger that anything we have come across today and the lack of rain had these ears tipping back dramatically. 134 bushels per acre is our guess for this field. Beans, shadowed by windmills, had the best of both worlds. They were heavily populated and had a very stout pod count on them. We counted over 1300 pods in a 3 foot square.
Our final stop of Tuesday was in Holder, Illinois and it was the best one of the day for our group for both corn and soybeans. Ear pops were solid, close to 99, and the ears were a nice size. Our estimate for this field was 227, but the impact of dryness may rear its ugly head soon. The beans came in at 1939 pod in a 3 foot square and still had room to grow if that rainfall does occur this week.
Our route’s Illinois average was 177.2 bushels per acre and soybean pods averaged 1366.11.
The final Indiana results for the entire Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour came in with an average corn yield of 185 bushels to the acre and an average of 1220 soybean pods in a 3 x 3 foot square.