I'm posting this from DTN cuz it gives a nice state by state summary:
Midwest Crop Tour - 4
Late Frost Needed for Yield Potential
Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:11 PM CDT
By Pam Smith
DTN Crops/Technology Editor
DTN Markets Editor
Joe Wise, an Indiana farmer and scout on the eastern leg of the Pro Farmer Crop Tour shows the delayed maturity found in a Minnesota corn field. How long it will take that crop to reach maturity and how prevented planting will play into final crop figures was the big question of the tour's final day. (DTN photo by Pam Smith)
ROCHESTER, Minn. (DTN) -- Will the 2013 crop make it to the finish line and will the crop in the eastern Midwest outweigh the prevented and late planting problems in the west? How will that uncertainty influence the market? Those questions continued to hover as the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour drew to a close Thursday.
Scouts from both the western and eastern legs of the tour converged on Iowa and Minnesota on the tour's final day. The average yield for Iowa corn was 171.94 bushels per acre compared to the three-year average of 157.09 bpa. Soybeans were the big surprise with pods totaling 927.30 in a 3' by 3' square -- slightly less than estimates made during the 2012 drought year. Scouts pulled 390 samples in Iowa.
Minnesota's corn crop was severely lacking in maturity, but scouts are trained to measure potential yield. The average for corn was a healthy 181.09 bpa compared to the tour's three-year average of 172.53 bpa. Minnesota soybeans were a disappointing 869.42 pods. That's down 7% from the 2012 drought year. Many soybeans were still blooming.
"We measured a lot of potential," said Chip Flory, Pro Farmer editor. "We're likely going to lose a lot of that potential. Pretty impressive on the corn side. Pretty ugly on the bean side," he added.
Scouts didn't count obvious prevented planting fields. However, if scouts entered a field, walked the prescribed number of paces and ended in a drowned out spot, the field was counted as a zero in the yield averages.
EXPECTATIONS IN THE EAST
The tour started Monday with big hopes for yields in the east. Brian Grete, Pro Farmer senior marketing analyst, said Ohio was uniform across the state and will likely realize a really good corn crop -- although the state is dry. Corn yields took a small step down as the tour headed into Indiana (see table below), but soybeans beat the three-year tour average. That state desperately needed a drink and weed pressures were noted. Illinois exhibited a lot of variability in yield -- not only from field to field, but within each field.
Tip back became a common theme on the eastern leg of the tour. "What we saw in Illinois is as good as it's going to get," said Mark Bernard, the consulting agronomist on the eastern leg of the tour, meaning the crop won't get any better from here, but could still slide backward.
Showers showed up in Iowa and Minnesota on the final day of sampling. Variability increased and scouts found many fields with holes. Bernard said the Iowa and Minnesota crops look very good, but are quite delayed. Some corn was still pollinating. Early October is the average first frost date for northern Iowa and there was corn estimated to be 50 days from black layer.
Will the good parts of the east make up for the missing crops and problem areas of the West? "I highly doubt it unless we get to the late October, first of November time frame without a first frost," Grete said. It was noted that a similar late planting scenario existed in 1996 and the weather did cooperate to allow the crop to mature.
Getting enough moisture to finish out the crop is another concern. "We actually had soil moisture ratings significantly below a year ago in Indiana and Illinois," Grete noted. "They need time and they need water."
Flory said growers need to look beyond the crop tour numbers. "With all this potential comes great risk," Flory said. "If September isn't perfect, this Iowa crop is going backwards. If September is great and we don't get a frost until Thanksgiving, some of this corn is going to make it.
"It is ridiculous that we saw soybean pod counts below those of a drought year and it all comes back to planting date."
THE BEST OF THE WEST
On the western leg of the tour, Fayette, Ind., farmer John Orr said South Dakota yields surprised him. "I was impressed with South Dakota because it was the most mature and I wasn't expecting it," Orr said. Most of the corn in South Dakota was in the dough stage and was considered to be the most mature of what was found on the western leg, but still significantly behind for this time of the year.
In Nebraska, scouts found a surprisingly good dryland corn crop given how dry it has been in the state. "We saw a lot of 130 to 140 bushel dryland corn and if we can get that, it's going to hold up the bottom end," Flory said. "Then what you really need is for the irrigated corn to go out the top and we didn't get that this year." Flory said irrigated yields were generally in the 180- to 185-bushel range.
"It all goes back to the spring and the conditions it was planted in," he added. Planting skips and holes were common. "It's a good crop, but not a great crop out there in Nebraska," Flory said.
Orr said a lot of the crop south of Interstate 80 in Nebraska and Iowa, in addition to the Minnesota crop, was immature and needed development time. "They were all planted at the same time. If we don't get a late frost this year, a lot of the corn won't make it," Orr said. Nitrogen deficiencies were also evident.
On Orr's route through western Minnesota, much of the crop pollinated in late July or early August. It didn't show signs of tipped-back ears yet, but if the weather stays hot in the next week or two, that could become more evident. Since a key portion of the tour's formula is grain length on the ear, late-emerging tip back could make scouts' estimates too high.
"On beans, pod counts were so light across the tour, and since beans rely on sunlight and photosynthesis, beans are destined to be poor all over," Orr said.
"It's not even close to the finish line, yet it looks like it has a lot of potential," said Doug Bartlett, with Midwest Farm Services. "The curtain is coming down, but the crop isn't done with the show."
PRO FARMER MIDWEST CROP TOUR RESULTS
STATE 2013 2012 3 YEAR AVG
IA 171.94 137.27 157.09
MN 181.09 156.19 172.53
IL 170.48 121.60 148.04
IN 167.36 113.25 141.14
OH 171.6 110.50 144.12
NE 154.93 131.79 147.93
SD 161.75 74.26 119.65
IA 927.30 999.80 1189.74
MN 869.42 934.35 1099.44
IL 1116.0 994.05 1149.47
IN 1185.1 1033.2 1136.48
OH 1283.6 1033.7 1162.64
NE 1138.9 894.43 1162.42
SD 1016.7 584.93 984.62
Pam Smith can be reached at [email]firstname.lastname@example.org[/email]
The bottom line is...unless we have an early freeze...a prolly record corn crop is on the way AND prolly a record ??? crummy SB crop. BUT...good SB prices will just cause ARG+BRA to plant more SB...sooo, that might be an anchor on SB prices.
" It was noted that a similar late planting scenario existed in 1996 and the weather did cooperate to allow the crop to mature."
BTW, this kind of happened in 2009. USDA found and lost 300 mil bu over and over trying to reconcile the low TW corn in farmers' bins...not to mention aflatoxin and other ear mold diseases that made corn un-marketable unless it was blended with good corn.