As Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour scouts move deeper into the heart of the Corn Belt, the crops have improved compared to what they saw yesterday. According to Pro Farmer editor and eastern-leg tour director, Brian Grete, today’s crops in Indiana and Illinois are “much better” than what he saw yesterday in Ohio.
“The corn yield averaged 173.3 on our route,” he told AgriTalk newsman Davis Michaelson. “The maturity picked up, but it’s still not ‘there’ in most cases. It’s still a crop that’s behind and needs time to get to the finish line.”
The crops in western Indiana and eastern Illinois are roughly two weeks behind, Grete said.
“[However] I may have been in one of the better areas, I’m not certain,” he said. While it’s not a normal crop, he said there’s potential for it to finish well.
“The corn yields did improve on my route, but it’s not where these guys hope it will be,” he said.
The pod counts have improved as well, in fact, on Grete’s route they went up “significantly.”
“They look more like you would expect soybeans to look,” he said.
Still, Grete was moving through Illinois Crop District 5, arguably the heart of the Illinois corn crop, and he says the corn was actually better in west-central Indiana.
“We’ve seen more prevent plant here than in Indiana this morning,” he said. “The maturity took a step back and the yield took a step back. The corn has been pretty solid, within a range, just not what you’d want to see in this part of Illinois.”
Similarly, on the western leg of the tour, leader Jeff Wilson says he’s been pleasantly surprised with the crops in Nebraska when compared to South Dakota.
“It’s like night and day compared to yesterday,” he said. “Prevent plant is only in a few areas here and there. The crops are generally in pretty good shape.”
He’s seen a corn yield range of 76 to 202 bu. per acre, and the average for his route today was 147 bu. per acre.
“We hit a few more lower-yielding spots this afternoon,” he said. “There are still some planting problems.”
Wilson said there’s more corn disease showing up in southern Nebraska and more bugs.
“It’s an average crop in Nebraska,” he said.
However, the soybeans on his route have been beautiful. He’s seen pod counts average 1500 pods in a 3 x 3 square.
“The fields are clean, they look good and they’re pretty well podded,” he said. “The bean crop was a little more surprising in terms of the upside. But it’s [only] one route, and we’ve got a lot more to look at.”
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