It feels like we should combine some corn now that the 2018 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour is behind us.
I once again attended the tour stop at the DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center in Bloomington last Tuesday evening. It is always interesting to hear what the tour scouts find in fields not only throughout Illinois but the entire Midwestern crop growing region. One guy, who had been on the tour for 14 years, was disappointed with what he found in Livingston and McLean counties with an average yield of 166.
“The ear population is what is going to save us. We’ve got a really good crop,” said McLean County farmer Dennis Wentworth who took part in a panel discussion following dinner.
Pioneer agronomist Doug Toepper reported a majority of the corn is at the dent stage. He believes most of the crops look good with moisture being our “saving grace” during pollination. Corn did suffer through some early summer heat and high nighttime lows.
“There’s some pretty good corn out there in certain spots,” Toepper told the crowd.
Toepper refers to 2018 as the year of the early soybean since many growers planted beans before corn in hopes of higher yields come fall. The flowering period was extended but everyone wonders if we will have enough moisture to finish the soybean crop strong.
Pro Farmer’s Brian Grady was really impressed with what he saw in Ohio. He noticed more crop variability while traveling through Indiana and Illinois. Here in Illinois, he pulled a corn sample of 242 bushels per acre and another showed only 115. During the Bloomington meeting, it was announced that Indiana growers could expect a corn yield of 182.3 and Nebraska was pegged at 179.17. Both of these numbers are up compared to the 2017 estimates during the same time period.
We will all get an accurate reading of what’s happening in the fields when the combines are out and about. That time isn’t too far off. In fact, some may be toying with the idea of taking off some end rows and opening up fields this week. Expect to see quite a few farmers begin harvesting after Labor Day.
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