Oh, The Stories a Crop Tour Hat Can Tell

By Ty Higgins, Ohio Ag Net

It is almost that time of year again and I couldn’t be more ready! For the 7th year in a row, I will be taking part of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. It’s not just the 4-day drive across the Corn Belt checking crop development that I enjoy. There is just something about those you meet while I’m on the road. Those riding along with me as we scatter through the majority of the corn and soybean regions of the U.S. and those that meet us up the drive from the house as we stop to get a sample.

Look at that, over 100 words and I haven’t even mentioned the hole-in-the-all food joints we stop at for lunch or the nice cold drinks we are rewarded with after a long day of gathering information that farmers (and traders) are quite curious about.

Yes, I have made plenty of life-long friends and have shot thousands of photos to document the corn and soybean fields as I take this great annual trip, but the wall of hats in my office will be able to tell the stories from the road far better than I ever will.

Like the 2012 hat, for instance. There is still plenty of Iowa dust on that cap from the dry roads and fields after a major drought that summer.

2013 was a little nicer to that part of the country and was one of the milder weeks we had on tour. That year’s hat looks about as new as they day I received it.

We paid for that mild week with a week that would have made the devil search for the A/C and the 2014 hat has the sweat marks to prove it.

And the rains that wouldn’t go away in 2015 kept that year’s hat heavy, soggy and clean as a whistle.

2016’s hat picked up some mud from I’m not sure where and it is still one of my favorites to sport and last year’s cap was the first “summer hat” with some nice ventilation for my bald head, although it did leave quite an interesting tan line.

Who knows what this year’s Pro Farmer Crop Tour will hold. I don’t think anyone will be surprised with some astronomical numbers coming in after a nearly perfect growing season from Ohio through Illinois. Iowa may not be as impressive, but it is Iowa after all. Most of us here in the Buckeye State would take an average Iowa crop every year.

I look forward to sharing with you what I am seeing on tour and I hope that what we find on tour will be useful to you as you make plans for what you have in the bin and for the crop that is yet to come.

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