The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour is underway and the eastern leg is beginning to move west from Columbus, Ohio. Ty Higgins from Ohio Ag Net will keep us up to date the next 4 days, providing a close up look at the crops.
The tour’s primary goal, is to provide the industry with accurate late-season information about likely corn and soybean yields during the upcoming harvest season at the state and regional level, and Pro Farmer’s Editorial Director Chip Flory says this year many will be watching to see if yield estimates on tour will match up with USDA’s August crop estimate figures.
“When we talk with guys that are non-farmers, that are traders, there’s a high level of skepticism over that 175.1 for a national average corn yield and even over the 48.9 bushel per acre for soybeans. It’s not just farmers, it’s traders that are pretty skeptical about it too.”
On the eastern leg of the tour teams of scouts will be taking samples of random corn and soybean fields and those scouts will be miles from home.
“We’ve got 12 foreign countries on the tour this year. I think that’s a record and I believe the country that we’re adding is Australia. It’s become a global not just a U.S. event. We understand and respect that, and we are very careful about how we handle the data and do it in a very transparent way so that there isn’t any question about how we do things out there in the field.”
Over the years, some things have changed on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, but one aspect that has remained consistent are the routes taken across the Corn Belt.
“This is the 24th tour that Pro Farmer has been managing out here. We’ve run basically the same routes now since 1998. The reason that we do that is you’ve got to have that consistency from year to year so that we’re comparing results from this year to last year’s tour, the 3-year average and the past tour results. By doing that and looking at the trends from year to year and from average it gives us a pretty good idea of what we should be expecting when the combines roll.”
Follow the tour online at www.ProFarmer.com and see what some of the scouts are seeing by following along on twitter with #pftour16.