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Yield Reports Continue to be Highly Variable

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As the harvest moves slowly ahead and now has snow to deal with in some areas, yield reports are highly variable. We have been hearing across the corn belt that yields are better than expected but highly variable. NW Indiana Pioneer agronomist Ryan Piel told HAT that is also the story in his area.

“Corn yields are better than had been expected, although lower than 2018. But they are really all over the place. You can go from 30bpa to 300bpa in the same row.”

Piel confirms that, as we have heard in other areas, soybean yields are much better than expected.

“I am really amazed at the soybean yields. Again, the results are highly variable, but I have had some customers say they had their best crop this year.”

He adds it really comes down to the date when and the conditions in which the crops were planted.

Harvest conditions remain challenging. Piel says soil compaction is a serious problem which will require some deep tillage between now and planting time next spring.

“The fields where the water stood for a long time are really compacted.” He told HAT, while working with some customers on fall tillage, “The ripper could not break up the soil. Even the 4-wheel drive tractors could not break up some of these soil clods.”

He noted this is an issue growers will have to address.

“Planting cover crops can help break up some of that compaction, but it is getting late in the season to plant them.”

Piel added that compaction in prevent plant acres is not as bad, but weed issues will be serious next season.