Nebraska and Indiana corn and soybean estimates were released last night by the Pro Farmer crop tour scouts. West leg tour participants ended the night in Nebraska City.
Scouts sampled a total of 258 fields primarily in the eastern half of Nebraska. They do not travel much further west than Grand Island. Samples were pulled from about 44 percent irrigated fields. Chip Flory, Pro Farmer editorial director and lead guide, says their final corn number are typically around 15 bushels per acres (bpa) short since the state is 60 percent irrigated.
Estimated Nebraska corn yields were less than desirable. Projections came in at 158.6 bpa. Factoring in the difference between scouted irrigated numbers and actual Nebraska irrigated numbers the estimate was 173.6 bpa. Both numbers fall well below USDA’s August projection of 187 bpa.
The difference in irrigated versus dryland acres is what really surprised scouts. Jarod Creed, senior director of customer risk management with Gavilon in Omaha and a Pro Farmer tour scout, said irrigated acres are not pulling their own weight. “(Fields) were either ridden with green snap, hail or just not good stand counts or ear counts.” Out of their first six stops yesterday, irrigated corn yields were below 150 bpa.
Flory echoed these thoughts, “We actually had a dryland average that was above the irrigated average. That transition happened there in Butler and Saunders County. The irrigated corn has some problems and I think a lot of it goes back to this spring.”
The rain this week should help some farmers who have been experiencing drought conditions even if they have been running irrigation. Scott Mercer and Brent Henderson, farmers from Kearney and scouts on the tour, said drought areas start in their area of Buffalo County and moves towards southeastern Nebraska.
The Nebraska soybean crop looks better than the corn crop. The tour does not complete a yield average but counts pods. They found an average of 1,223.07 pods in a three-foot-by-three-foot square. Last year they found 1,220.
Last night high winds whipped through Iowa. Tour participants scouted fields that had ears on the ground. Flory thinks it will be interesting to see how the crop handles the damage. Despite that, he estimates a record or near record corn crop in Iowa. The west leg will make their way through western Iowa ending tonight in Spencer.
Indiana pulled a 173.42 bpa corn estimate which is 21.3 percent higher than last year. This number is still below USDA’s of 187. Soybean pod counts were 1,178.41, which is 7.2 percent over 2015. Final corn estimates for South Dakota came in at 149.78 bushel per acre, compared to 165.94 bpa in 2015. Estimated South Dakota soybean pod counts were 970.61 and 1,043.15 last year. Ohio’s average corn yield was 148.96 bpa, compared to 148.37 of last year’s. Their pod count was 1,055.65, down 6.2% from last year.
The tour ends in Minnesota tomorrow and is sponsored by DuPont Pioneer. You can follow along with scouts on social media by using #pftour16.