The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour unveiled the stresses the corn and soybean crops faced following an excessively wet spring and record slow planting pace this year. Scouts on Crop Tour sampled around 3,000 fields across the Corn Belt in seven of the nation’s most important corn and soybean states.
Pro Farmer estimates the 2019 U.S. corn crop at 13.358 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 163.3 bu. per acre. That compares to USDA’s Aug. 1 estimate of 169.5 bu. per acre. For soybeans, the Pro Farmer production estimate is 3.497 billion bushels, with a national average yield of 46.1 bu. per acre, down from the 48.5 bu. per acre USDA estimated in August.
“Ear counts were lower than last year in all of the Crop Tour states as a result of the rough spring conditions,” said Brian Grete, Pro Farmer editor. “We also found a corn crop that was, in many cases, multiple weeks behind in maturity due to the record-slow planting.”
Jeff Wilson, Pro Farmer’s senior market analyst, said, “Soybean pod counts in a 3-foot by 3-foot square were down sharply across the seven Crop Tour states. That means the yield ’factory‘ is limited, especially in the eastern Corn Belt and South Dakota, where the spring conditions were worst and plantings were most severely delayed.
More than 125 scouts, including farmers, agribusiness experts, media, government and financial firm representatives from 12 countries participated in the 2019 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. Field scouts gathered crop samples across portions of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota. Collectively, these states account for 70% of U.S. corn production.