Low Ear Counts, Short Ears Bring Sub-Par Yields In Southern Minnesota

Crop Tour scouts count soybean pods
( Tyne Morgan )

Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour Scouts kicked off another soggy morning today in southern Minnesota. The normally productive black dirt’s crop shows clear evidence of a tough season.

“The bottom line is the top end [of yield] was taken off early when they had late planting,” says Jeff Wilson, lead of the western leg of the tour. “We saw some heat damage because there was tip back on many of the ears.”

Corn populations were nothing to write home about, either. Wilson says scouts are walking into extremely spotty fields containing areas with at least 3’ absent of ears. The plants are there, but the ears aren’t.

 In one field Wilson scouted, he came up with only a 93-bu. per acre average for the estimate. “There were a few pollination problems, but that wasn’t widespread, but then [after pollination] they got hot and dry which tipped back ears,” he explains.

Soybeans in the southern region are in slightly better shape than corn.

“Still relatively short, but pod counts are ok,” Wilson says. “It’s an average to below average crop in these two counties. It’s really good soil, so this is a big disappointment for this farmer in Martin County, Minn.”

In other areas of the state, crop estimates aren’t coming in so low. Wilson says he just heard about a field that hit 200 bu. per acre, and says that in a less stressful year it probably would have achieved 240 bu. per acre.