August 24, 2011


South Dakota's corn yield forecasts decrease



Late planting, together with scorching summer temperatures, is causing South Dakota's corn yield projections to fall 1.7% below last year's forecasts, according to scouts on a yearly tour on Monday (Aug 22).


Soy was also facing problems but fields in the northern areas of the state that were spared from some of the extreme July heat were faring better than ones in the southern portions of the state.


The annual Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour forecast an average corn yield at 141.1 bushels per acre, based on surveys of 39 fields. A year ago, scouts projected the average corn yield at 143.59 bushels per acre. The tour's three-year average for South Dakota is 146.06 bushels per acre.


The heavy rains throughout spring, which led to planting delays around the Corn Belt and robbed the crop of some harvest potential, also helped sustain corn and soy during the heat and dry conditions of July and August.


"It was all over the map," said the crop tour consultant, referring to the discrepancy of yield projections between fields. "Variable is the word that I would use."


For soy, scouts calculated an average of 1,106.66 soy pods in three-by-three foot plots, down from 1,262.28 a year ago but above the three-year average of 1,034.93 pods.


Soy in South Dakota, which has held up well despite dry conditions during the past few weeks, needed some moisture to finish the season strongly.


"If that crop gets some water, it has got a heck of a good chance," said the scout who is leading the western leg of the tour. "But there are some issues up there with that South Dakota soy crop."


Scouts noted little disease pressure in both corn and soy fields but there were reports of heavy hail damage. A few soy fields were infested by aphids.


"I'm a little disappointed in the corn yield numbers," said an Illinois farmer on the tour. "They have not been stressed for moisture but there have been a few minor issues that have cost them."


A South Dakota farmer who stopped to chat with crop scouts said that many farmers in his area planted a little later than usual this year due to rain in the spring.


Scouts fanned out Monday on Pro Farmer's annual tour, with a western leg departing from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and the eastern leg launching from Columbus, Ohio.


Tour scouts count the number of corn stalks in a 30-foot row of corn, measure ears and count rows of kernels to estimate yields. Scouts do not estimate soy yields, but instead count pods in three-by-three foot plots to gauge yield potential.


Scouts were closely watching for any signs of heat stress due to high day and night temperatures around the growing region during July.


The USDA's latest yield forecast for the South Dakota corn crop is 141 bushels per acre. Its South Dakota soy outlook is 38 bushels per acre. A year ago, USDA reported final average corn yields of 135 bushels per acre and soy yields of 38 bushels per acre across South Dakota.


USDA's most recent crop conditions report, issued on Monday afternoon, showed that the corn crop in South Dakota was rated 75% good to excellent, well above the national average of 57%. South Dakota's soy were rated 74% good to excellent compared to the national average of 59%.

Video >

Follow Us