From Down & Out To 200-Bu.-Plus Corn Ranges In Iowa

Western leg of the 2018 Pro Farmer Crop Tour in Iowa. ( Betsy Jibben )

As Chip Flory set up for the AgriTalk Farmer Forum today at the Wittrock Motor Co., in Carroll, Iowa, he gathered crop highlights from three Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour scouts, stopped momentarily in southern parts of the state.


“Starting out, we saw a lot of green snap through here, in some cases up to 75% in cornfields,” reported Nebraska farmer Tim Gregerson, who was stationed on a hilltop for good phone reception and just a few miles northeast of Missouri Valley, Iowa. The small farming town, population 2,838, sits in the west-central part of the state.


Gregerson said he could relate to area farmers as some of his own fields in Nebraska sustained green snap damage around the 4th of July. “It’s tough, but what amazes me is the grit of the American farmer,” he added.


Illinois farmer and first-year scout, Sherman Newlin, was just north of Gregerson in Crawford County and said he also saw wind damage. “A lot of corn is leaned over, and it’s going to be tough to shell,” he told Flory, AgriTalk Host.


Minnesota farmer and long-time scout Brad Nelson had good news to share from Montgomery county, Iowa. “The first two fields I checked, close to the Missouri line, had about 200-bushel corn. The crop looked a little ragged, but I was impressed with what our estimates showed.”


Gregerson said he also had checked fields on his Iowa route late this morning that offered up higher yield estimates than he would have thought, given the corn’s appearance from the road. Flory added that tougher genetics and better management are enabling farmers to coax higher yield estimates this year than they might have in years past.


“Consistent stands and farmer management have improved significantly in the last six or seven years,” Flory said. “It used to be that if you found skips in the field they weren’t even worth a mention, because they were common. Now, if there’s a one-foot skip in a field, scouts are taking notes.”


Nelson said soybean crops are performing well in the southwest part of Iowa. “I think it’s interesting the numbers USDA came out with in August are matching up percentage-wise with the bean crop we’re seeing out here. Though I’m not seeing any blooms coming on or new pods, the bean crop looks fantastic out here.”

You can hear more about the scouts’ own crops at home by listening to this episode of AgriTalk’s Farmer Forum. Plus, you can read more Crop Tour coverage at Download the free AgWeb app and get alerts and updates on the Crop Tour and all the news that matters to you.