Pro Farmer Crop Tour

2017 Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour – Day 1

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Follow Day 2 coverage of the Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour

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Here are the final results for the entire eastern leg of this year’s

Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour for Ohio.

Corn –164.62 bushels to the acre.

Soybeans – 1107.01 pods in 3X3 foot square.

3:35 p.m.

It is a race against a storm system heading toward us from the west. Just 2 more samples before we can call it a day. Pretty nice crops here. Plant health for the corn and soybeans were above average. Not the best corn stand, but big ears coming out of this field. Our yield calc is 165. Soybeans were very tall and very podded. This was the most we stood and counted soybeans at any stop throughout the day but 30 inch rows knocked our number down.… Continue reading

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Follow coverage of the 2017 Midwest Crop Tour

Corn, soybeans and a solar eclipse! All three should make this year’s Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour very interesting.

All week long, I will be on one of nearly 40 teams of 4 will venture out into the great unknown. As we spider-web our way from Ohio west and from the Dakotas east, covering 80% of the corn and soybean regions of the United States, we will dig a little deeper into the nearly harvest-ready corn fields and the soybean fields working on filling out those last few pods.

If you have to see it to believe it when it comes to the 2017 crops, get ready to ride along with me as I share what I am seeing all week long on the Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour.

Get my coverage of Day #1

You can also follow my coverage at OhioAgNet.com and on Facebook and Twitter..… Continue reading

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Heavy rain doesn’t have to mean money down the drain

Farmers of all types face challenges everyday as they work hard to get higher yields and greater profits. Inputs throughout the growing season can help with reaching those goals, but only if those inputs are utilized to their full potential.

Heavy rains in Ohio during the spring and early summer may have washed away some key nutrients and with them went top-end yield and profits.

“Just traveling up and down the road I’ll see corn that’s definitely been nitrogen deficient sometime in its growth stage early on in the growing season,” said Brett Barton, Sales Manager in Ohio for AgXplore. “I wish that more farmers would protect their nitrogen. For the price of that input and adding a small cost to keep them where they are needed would’ve added a lot of bushels.”

A nitrogen stabilizer, like N-Zone from AgXplore, is one solution.

“We see two to seven bushels better across the board by using N-Zone and the cost is minimal,” Barton said.… Continue reading

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2016 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour Final Estimates

Corn: 14.728 billion bu.; Average yield of 170.2 bu. per acre
Corn +/- 1% = 14.875 billion bu. to 14.581 billion bu.; 171.9 bu. to 168.5 bu. per acre

Soybeans: 4.093 billion bu.; Average yield of 49.3 bu. per acre
Soybeans +/- 2% = 4.175 billion bu. to 4.011 billion bu.; 50.3 bu. to 48.3 bu. per acre

Note: These estimates are based on assumptions for normal weather through September. With a normal finish to the growing season, the soybean crop stands to benefit more from weather than corn. Rains rolled across the Corn Belt during Crop Tour. When we get our boots wet when sampling fields on Crop Tour, it’s typically a good thing for the soybean crop. Much of the corn crop is too advanced in maturity to benefit much if late-season weather is favorable. We made no adjustments to harvested corn or soybean acres.

Corn
Ohio:
154 bu.… Continue reading

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Day 4 of The 2016 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

fe8b0aaa98326b85a546569ef0ba9ed3_400x400Presented by Ritchie Brothers

Day 1 results from the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

Day 2 results from the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

Day 3 results from the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

*Our first stop of the final day is not far from our hotel in Iowa City. We will be heading due north for most of the day as we make our way to Rochester, Minnesota.

Here are the final results for the entire eastern leg of this year’s Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour for Iowa.

Corn –188.17 bushels to the acre

Soybeans – 1224.28 pods in a 3 x 3 foot square

Here are the final results for the entire eastern leg of this year’s Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour for Minnesota.

Corn –182.32 bushels to the acre

Soybeans – 1107.60 pods in a 3 x 3 foot square

Olmstead County, Minnesota

This is our final stop of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.… Continue reading

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Day 3 of The 2016 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

fe8b0aaa98326b85a546569ef0ba9ed3_400x400Presented by Ritchie Brothers

Day 1 results from the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

Day 2 results from the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

Along with us today is a group of investors with JP Morgan Chase. They follow this tour every year, not as scouts, but just to follow along on some of the routes to get a feel for how things will end up this fall. Conversations in the truck are a bit different with investors on this trip.

The dynamic of people that take part in the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour and their reasons why are always fascinating to me. For the past two years, Wal-Mart has been on the tour to get a feel of how commodities important to their bakery needs will fair.

Here are the final results for the entire eastern leg of this year’s Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour for Illinois.

Corn –193.50 bushels to the acre.Continue reading

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Day 2 of The 2016 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

fe8b0aaa98326b85a546569ef0ba9ed3_400x400Presented by Ritchie Brothers

See Day 1 results on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

See Day 3 results on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

Today I take my annual shotgun seat next to Pro Farmer’s Brian Grete. This guy is all business on the road (except for the one year we did the Ice Bucket Challenge) and I always look forward to talking shop with Brian and watching his Iowa-esque pointer finger wave as other farmers drive by.

He’s not a very tall fella and he has a fear of getting lost in tall soybean fields, which we will likely see today. Needless to say, I will be sampling beans.

Here are the final results for the entire eastern leg of this year’s Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour for Indiana.

Corn –173.42 bushels to the acre.

Soybeans – 1178.41 pods in 3X3 foot square.

McLean County, Illinois

We are seeing a little bit of lodging and wind damage here in this corn field.… Continue reading

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Day 1 of The 2016 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

fe8b0aaa98326b85a546569ef0ba9ed3_400x400Presented by Ritchie Brothers

Day 2 results on the 2016 Midwest Pro Farmer Crop Tour

Imagine Christmas morning every day for a week in August. That sums up the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour for me. Once a novice at hopping in and out of a pickup truck every 20 miles to disappear into endless corn fields and wade through rows and rows of soybeans, I know am considered a veteran when it comes to finding out just how friendly, or downright cruel, Mother Nature has been to farmers and their yearly effort to make a living in the Corn Belt.

For the second straight year, it looks as through the trend we will see this week on tour are the crops getting better with every mile we head west, not boding well for growers in my home state of Ohio as their yield numbers decline as prices do the same.… Continue reading

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The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour is on the road again

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.… Continue reading

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The most detailed look at the Midwest crop is coming this week

Whenever someone asks me about being on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, I always start by answering, ‘Don’t tell my wife, but that is one of the best weeks of the year’!

Yes, being away from the family for a week is trying, but traveling with a group of people that are crazy enough to scout hundreds of corn and soybean fields across the Corn Belt makes the week fly by.

After USDA’s crop estimates came out earlier this month, many farmers all over the country (and some analysts) didn’t believe the record numbers that were released. Some said if USDA would have gone a little further into the fields they would have had much different calculations.

So, what is really out there in the corn and soybean fields of the Heartland? Will Illinois and Iowa have corn ears the size of baseball bats? Will there be so many pods on a soybean plant that we scouts may start hyperventilating trying to count so high a number?… Continue reading

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Final yield numbers from Pro Farmer

In Ohio, Pro Farmer predicted corn average to be 151 bushels per acre. “Crops are yellow and uneven, with poor grain length. The crop will likely struggle to hold onto yield potential.”

The soybean yield average for Ohio is predicted at 46.4 bushels per acre. “We found our shortest beans in Ohio — much of the crop had not even canopied and it showed via sharply lower pod counts than usual. Short plants limit the crop’s potential for a late rebound.”

Nationally, Pro Farmer pegs the 2015 U.S. corn crop at 13.323 billion bushels with an average yield of 164.3 bushels per acre
 (/- 1% = 13.456 billion bu. to 13.190 billion bu.; 165.9 bu. to 162.7 bu. per acre.) Pro Farmer pegs the 2015 U.S. soybean crop at 3.887 billion bushels with an average yield of 46.5 bushels per acre
 (/-soybeans 2% = 3.965 billion bu. to 3.809 billion bu.;Continue reading

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Day 4 of The 2015 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

See results from Day 1

See results from Day 2

See results from Day 3

There are a chosen few that have been on the Pro Farmer Crop Tour for a number of years that have been deemed “Master Scouts”. On my very first year on this tour I rode with retired farmer Dick Overby, now with Rain and Hail, LLC. This is his 10th year on the tour and I am privileged to be with him again today as we travel from Iowa City, Iowa to Dick’s stomping grounds of southern Minnesota. He is so knowledgeable about agriculture and passionate about it too. That will make this last day an enjoyable one. The tour wraps up in Rochester, Minnesota tonight.

7:30 a.m.

We head to Iowa County, Iowa for our first stop and this corn was planted much later. Ears were very high, but tip back will bite the yield potential here.… Continue reading

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Day 3 of The 2015 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

See results from Day 1 of The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

See results from Day 2 of The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

See how Day 4 is going on The Pro Farmer Crop Tour

The most noticeable thing for me so far this week is the change in crop health as we move west. After Monday in Ohio and Indiana, I didn’t notice getting cut up by corn fields as I traversed through 60 some odd rows 15 times. After yesterday’s Illinois fields, I felt every cut on my forearms. Ouch! If the Iowa crops are as good as they say they are I may need a first aid kit!

I visited with Illinois Field Agronomist Jarrod Hudson with DuPont Pioneer last night here in Bloomington about what crops in this area has faced this growing season.

Ty’s Wrap for Wednesday

Should be interesting as we leave Bloomington and travel to Iowa City today.… Continue reading

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Day 2 of The 2015 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

See results from Day 1 of The 2015 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

See results from Day 3 of The 2015 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

See how Day 4 is going on The 2015 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

After a good night’s rest in Fisher’s Indiana, we are ready for Day 2 of the 2015 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. I feel sorry for the two people that have to sit in the back of the truck today because our driver is Pro Farmer’s Senior Market Analyst. Not that he is a bad driver, but between him doing interviews with radio stations across the country and me doing reports live from the road, the two others will not get a word in edgewise. Plus, Brian and I may belt out a country song or two along the way.

7:28 a.m.

Our first stop in Boone County, Indiana continued the theme of variability on The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.… Continue reading

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Day 1 of The 2015 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour

See Day 2 results on The Pro Farmer Crop Tour

See Day 3 results on The Pro Farmer Crop Tour

See how Day 4 is going on The Pro Farmer Crop Tour

See Hard to believe that this will mark my 4th year of being a part of The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. Back in 2012, my very first time on the tour, crop conditions stared great here in Ohio and got progressively worse as we moved into the I states. In fact, it was in northern Iowa that year where I saw my first “zero” field. That was a surreal moment.

As we prepare to hit the road, the talk from the farmers on tour that are from that part of the U.S., is that this year will be the complete opposite. I shared with them what we noticed on The Ohio Crop Tour last week and what we have seen all over the state over the growing season.… Continue reading

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Into the trenches with the Pro Farmer Crop Tour

This will be my 4th year making the pilgrimage from Columbus, Ohio to Rochester, Minnesota over the 4 days of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. Not only do I cover the eastern leg of the tour for The Ohio Ag Net and Ohio’s Country Journal, I also collect information and interviews for farm broadcasters all over the U.S. who are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB).

Almost everywhere I go I am asked what it is like being on the tour and how one gets the chance to take part.

Being on the tour is everything that one would expect it to be. The days begin early as we comb our way through dewy green fields of corn and soybeans as the sun comes up, then reminisce and compare stories of the crop encounters, good and bad, as the sun disappears.

I liken this tour to a battle.… Continue reading

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A 2015 Pro Farmer Crop Tour Preview

Monday, the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour’s eastern leg departed 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 Pro Farmer’s Editorial Director Chip Flory tells The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins that this year will be one of the more interesting years in the tour’s history.

Pro Farmer Chip Flory

Scouts include the likes of market analysts, investors, agri-business and agronomists, but Pro Farmer’s Senior Market Analyst Brian Grete says the most valuable scout in the truck may be the farmer.

Pro Farmer Brian Grete

Ty Higgins is one of the scouts on this year’s tour and you can follow his travels at OhioAgNet.com… Continue reading

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Ohio Crop Tour recap

Ty Higgins barely gets a chance to catch his breath this time of year as we go from the busy Ohio State Fair straight into the Ohio Crop Tour and then he jumps right back in the passenger seat to ride along on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.

It is always interesting every year to see how our Ohio yield numbers compare to the yields found on the Pro Farmer Tour for the state. So, as a review, here is what we found in Ohio last week on the2015 I-75/I-71 Ohio  Crop Tour.

It seems that this year, both in Ohio and around the nation, the final yields will be all about balance. There is no doubt there are disastrous conditions out there. We encountered some extremely poor fields — some of the worst we have ever seen — in northwest Ohio. There were also a tremendous number of unplanted fields in the region.… Continue reading

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