Monday the Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour begins, and it will garner a lot of attention after a surprising USDA August crop report. The eastern leg begins in Ohio where Ty Higgins calls home base. He will provide daily updates on HAT. Last week he participated in a separate Ohio Crop Tour where they expected lower yields than USDA’s projected 171 bushels because of less than ideal weather this year.
“Some farms got up to forty inches of rain over the last couple of months in Ohio. So, what did we find? Actually USDA might be right on the money. Combining the western the eastern legs we got an average of 174.5,” Higgins said. “Corn is in all types of stages though, anywhere from still pollinating to full dent. On the bean side of things, beans were there consistently pretty much the entire day for the eastern leg. The western leg did see some variation and a few more disease and insect pressures.”
That was last week. This week the Midwest crop tour checks fields from Ohio to the Dakotas, covering 80% of the nation’s corn and soybean growing regions. It is far from a bus tour travelling from one city to the next while window scouting, says Pro Farmer’s Editorial Director Chip Flory.
“We split up into teams of 3-4 scouts per vehicle,” he explains. “The eastern leg of the tour will be running twelve different routes each day and the western leg runs ten different routes each day. These are the same routes that we’ve run for the last several years, keeping the process consistent from crop tour to crop tour so that we actually come away with something that makes sense when you compare it to last year’s results.”
Follow the tour online at www.FarmJournalPro.com and see what some of the scouts are seeing by following along on twitter with #FJTour17.