On Day 3 of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour’s eastern leg Wednesday, scouts scattered out from Bloomington, Illinois first thing in the morning and ended up in Iowa City, Iowa at day’s end.
Peter Meyer with PIRA Energy Group says what his crew sampled in Illinois did not impress him that much.
“Maybe my expectations were a little bit too high, but I think generally the western Indiana crops impressed me. The Illinois crops, the corn was ok. I’m not sure it makes 200 bpa where NASS says they are at the moment, but I’m very disappointed in the beans.”
USDA-NASS did set the bar very high for the Illinois corn crop this year, but Meyer said the estimates he and his fellow scouts came up with Wednesday will have Illinois corn falling short.
“To get to 200 you need to be pulling 240’s and 250’s with regularity. We did start out well, 248, 229, 232, 240, but then you get the 162 and the 171. And yesterday coming in from Indiana to Illinois we averaged 177. It’s going to be hard to get those numbers up to the 200 number that NASS is looking for.”
As Meyer looked at soybean fields along his route, he noticed some issues that will also put a dent in expected yields across Illinois, including the first pod developing very high up the plant and more 2 bean pods than expected.
“There’s no question about it that the pods are too high up,” Meyer said. “Regarding the 2’s vs. the 4, you never like to see 2’s but I can tell you that the conversations I’ve had with guys over the last three days, there’s more conversation about the 2’s than there are about the 4’s. That’s the reason we only count pods on the crop tour. Very, very difficult to assess, otherwise we’d be there all day counting every bean in every pod.”
The final numbers for Illinois came in at 193.50 bushels to the acre for corn and 1318.09 pods of soybeans in a 3 foot by 3 foot square.
Thursday is the 4th and final day of the tour as scouts from the eastern and western legs meet up in Rochester, Minnesota on Thursday night. You can ride right along with the scouts all day by following the tour online at www.ProFarmer.com. You can also keep track of the progress on twitter with #pftour16.
(Thanks Ty Higgins for this story from the tour!)