Monday, the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour’s eastern leg departs from Columbus, Ohio and will head west over the next 4 days to get a close up look at crops throughout the corn belt.
The tour’s primary goal, is to provide the industry with accurate late-season information about likely corn and soybean yields during the upcoming harvest season at the state and regional level, and this year many in the ag industry, and not just farmers, will be watching to see if yield estimates on tour will match up with USDA’s August crop estimate figures.
“When we talk with traders there is a high level of skepticism over that 175.1 for a national average corn yield and even for the 48.9 bushel per acre soybean number,” said Pro Farmer’s Editorial Director Chip Flory.
On the eastern leg of the Pro Farmer Crop Tour teams of scouts will be taking samples of random corn and soybean fields and those scouts will be miles from home.
“We’ve got 12 foreign countries represented on the tour this year,” Flory said. “It’s become a global event and we respect that and we are very careful about how we handle the data and do it in a very transparent way so there isn’t any questions about how we do things out there in the field.”
There will be daily results released as the tour makes nightly stops in Fishers, Indiana, Bloomington, Illinois, Iowa City, Iowa and Rochester, Minnesota. Those estimates will be raw data without any spin or perspective added to it.
“When we release the Pro Farmer crop estimates on Friday, that is when we really try to evaluate the crop conditions that we saw throughout the week, in detail, to go along with the raw data collected all week,” Flory said.
Nearly 1400 samples of corn and soybeans will be collected over the week on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, which covers almost 80% of the U.S. corn and soybean growing region.