When scouting, it’s a good idea to track productivity in your fields. Pro Farmer hosts an annual Midwest Crop Tour that sends out teams of scouts to visit corn and soybean fields throughout the Midwest to estimate yields. These are the steps they use to determine production potential by individual field.
Calculate Corn Bushels
1. Measure and record the row spacing (inches) used in the field.
2. Walk through the end rows into the bulk of the field, then walk 35 paces down the rows to the first sampling area.
3. Measure 30' down the row, then count all ears in the two adjacent rows. Divide that number by two and record it. For example: (42 ears in one row + 45 ears in other row) ÷ 2 = 43.5 ears
4. Pull the fifth, eighth and 11th ears from plants in one row of the sampling area.
5. Measure length of the portion of each ear that successfully developed kernels. Calculate the average ear length of the three ears and record it. For the most accurate estimate, sample fields in late kernel dough stage or even kernel dent stage. For example: (6" 7" 5") ÷ 3 = 6"
6. Count the number of kernel rows on each ear. Calculate the average kernel row number and record it.
For example: (16 rows 14 rows 16 rows) ÷ 3 = 15.3 rows
7. Grain yield for the sampling area is calculated by multiplying the average ear count by the average ear length by the average kernel row number, then dividing by the row spacing. For example: (43.5 ears x 6" x 15.3 rows) ÷ 30" rows = 133 bu. per acre yield estimate
Calculate Soybean Potential
1. Scout a representative area of the field and lay out a 3' plot. Count all plants in the plot, then pull three plants at random.
2. Count all pods on the three plants and average the number of pods per plant. Determine the total number of pods in 3' of row by multiplying the average number of pods per plant by the total number of plants in the 3' of row.
3. Take the total number of pods in the 3' of row and multiply it by 36. Divide your answer by your row spacing to calculate the number of pods in a 3'x3' square. Use this information to
compare field productivity.