A look back at 2019 Crop Tour numbers

By Matt Reese

Rewind back to mid-August of 2019 when two groups from Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net took to the back roads of the state to take a peek at the yield potential following arguably the worst planting season in the state’s history. The 2019 Ohio Crop Tour was sponsored by AgroLiquid.

Of course, we found many fields (particularly in northwest Ohio) that were very late developmentally. This made estimating yields for the fields quite challenging. The corn yield potential was there in many fields, but the crop was in great need of a late frost and steady rainfall throughout the rest of the growing season to come close to achieving the yield potential we were seeing. Guess what happened…

Here is what we wrote at the end of the 2019 I-75/I-71 Ohio Crop Tour on Aug. 15: For corn, the average yield for the East was 175 bushels per acre, the average for the West was 167 bushels per acre and the overall average was 171 bushels. After some discussion, we felt like the 171-bushel number was reasonable statewide if all things are ideal from here on out for this crop. But, less daylight moving forward with so far to go for this crop could lead to quality and test weight issues. We feel a more reasonable expectation for this crop with less than ideal conditions moving forward is around 148 bushels, based on the significant potential for yield loss moving forward.

It is much the same with soybeans. There is 40- to 50-bushel potential and higher in many fields. But, on the western leg, it was pointed out that double-crop soybeans in Preble County were planted earlier than many of the first crop soybean fields to the northwest. There is a definite cap on that potential as a result, and if conditions are less than perfect, yield potential will likely drop off pretty quickly.

As it turned out, the actual averages in the fields were fairly close to the final reality in some cases (and not-so-close in others). We fudged the numbers down significantly because of the tremendous potential for yield loss from mid-August through harvest of 2019, though clearly much of that yield loss did not materialize, particularly in northwest Ohio. In other areas, though, dry weather set in late in the season and took its toll on yields, leaving actual yields fairly short of what we found in August fields.

Here is an excerpt from the USDA NASS Ohio Annual Crop Summary from Jan. 10 2020: Ohio’s 2019 average corn yield was 164 bushels per acre, down 23 bushels from 2018. Growers harvested 2.57 million acres for grain, down 22% from 2018. Total production of corn for grain was 421 million bushels, down 32% from 2018.

Ohio’s average soybean yield for 2019 was 49 bushels per acre, down 7 bushels from 2018. Growers harvested 4.27 million acres, down 15% from 2018. Production, at 209 million bushels, was down 26%.

After looking at so many Ohio fields in August following a planting season that was nothing short of disastrous, it is hard to believe we’d be currently be talking about an average Ohio yield of 164 bushels. So, the overall average yield estimate from the 2019 I-75/I-71 Ohio Crop Tour was fairly close, but how did we do on individual fields? We followed up with some of the farmers to find out the actual field averages of the corn we sampled and estimated back in August. Here are the results.


2019 Ohio Crop Tour corn yield follow-up

Champaign      Estimated 198             Actual 155

Clark               Estimated 165.5          Actual 194

Clinton            Estimated 149             Actual 195

Crawford         Estimated 171             Actual 211

Darke              Estimated 175             Actual 150

Delaware         Estimated 216             Actual 195

Fairfield           Estimated 181             Actual 170

Fayette            Estimated 189.5          Actual 177

Fulton             Estimated 183            Actual 206

Greene             Estimated 160           Actual 188

Hancock          Estimated 183             Actual 231

Hardin             Estimated 125             Actual 87

Henry              Estimated 190             Actual 200

Highland          Estimated 138            Actual 170

Holmes            Estimated 180             Actual 198

Huron              Estimated 170             Actual 180

Licking            Estimated 150             Actual 143

Madison          Estimated 120              Actual 135

Miami             Estimated 202             Actual 166

Morrow          Estimated 199              Actual 188

Paulding          Estimated 195             Actual 170

Preble              Estimated 205             Actual 205

Putnam            Estimated 185             Actual 188

Ross                Estimated 208            Actual 190

Union              Estimated 154             Actual 155

Van Wert        Estimated 183              Actual 195

Warren            Estimated 150             Actual 154

Williams         Estimated 160              Actual 219

Wood              Estimated 200            Actual 208

Wyandot         Estimated 178             Actual 227


For more results for the 2019 Crop Tour visit: https://www.ocj.com/2019/08/2019-i-75-i-71-ohio-crop-tour-summary/.

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