Young Leaders estimate fall corn yields at 218.4 bushels per acre
Soybean pod counts high, but disease and mold apparent

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[August 23, 2016]    LINCOLN - The Logan County Farm Bureau Young Leaders conducted their 2nd annual crop tour on the 18th of August. The main goal of the crop tour is to obtain an estimated corn yield for Logan County. Daniel Eeten, Jared Brown, Kyle Atteberry, Kyle Klockenga, Eli Klokkenga and Matt Wrage spear headed the crop tour with consistency and accuracy in mind.

There have been high hopes this year for a very large crop. Last year the excess moisture left many holes in the crop that shaved of the top end of yields. This year it seems every field has a complete stand of corn or beans with no holes.

All samples were taken with the same strategy. Enter a field from multiple locations, go well beyond the end rows to a point that was representative of the field, take a harvestable ear count and select every 10th ear for a sample. Kernel counts were taken from all the ear samples and multiplied by their respected stand counts.

Left to right, members of the team are Daniel Eeten, Eli Klokkenga, Matt Wrage, Jared Brown, and Kyle Atteberry. Kyle Klockenga was not available for the photo.

The counts were divided by 85,000 kernels per bushel. The 85,000 kernels count was selected based on the evaluation of all the ears that were pulled. This strategy was performed in four locations of every field sampled. The specific fields sampled were randomly chosen however they were in strategic locations to provide the best possible coverage for the county. Samples were taken from each township in the county. To analyze the data, the county was divided into 4 quadrants (NW,SW,SE,NE).

The Numbers are in:

  • Northwest Quadrant 222.9 BPA
  • Southwest Quadrant 210.0 BPA
  • Southeast Quadrant 217.4 BPA
  • Northeast Quadrant 231.0 BPA
  • Estimated County Average 218.4 BPA

Trying to evaluate the crop’s yield potential across the entire county based on a relatively small sample is a difficult task. Although the samples were random, there are many factors to consider when placing value on each sample such as farming practices, soil types, whether the field is corn on corn and also the hybrid. The average harvestable ear stand count came in at 32,430 per acre. Within that stand count the team all commented on variable ear size with a few more “runts” than expected. The majority of the ears pulled had some extent of “tip back”. Despite good growing conditions, the heat during the week of July 20th is likely to blame.

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In addition to the yield estimate, notes were also taken on the progress and the agronomic state of the crop. The northern half of the county had many plants that were “goose necked” likely from the wind events that occurred towards the end of June. Overall stalk integrity was decent. Some ear molds were present in a few of the sampled fields. This included diplodia, aspergillus as well as gibberella. None of the samples taken had reached black layer (physiological maturity). Many of the fields still have a lot of green left in them and appear to have had enough nitrogen to finish. Almost every field showed some pressure from the disease grey leaf spot.

The group did not attempt to estimate yield on soybeans. Soybeans are extremely difficult to predict. Their yield levels can fluctuate all the way to the end of the plants life due to seed size. Overall Soybeans are very tall this year which is not always ideal for high yields. The recent rains have caused many fields to lay over which created ideal conditions for molds and disease within the canopy. One does not have to search hard to find disease such as Sudden Death, Brown Stem Rot or even White Mold. All of these can have a substantial impact on final yield. However, pod counts have been high and with the recent rains it would suggest that soybean yields will be slightly higher than average. For more information on the crop tour or the Logan County Farm Bureau Young Leaders Group please contact the Logan County Farm Bureau at 217-732-7326.

[Matt Wrage]

Last year's results
08/23/2015 - Local Farm Bureau Young Leaders conduct crop tours)


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