Eastern Iowa corn yields seen above average

Linn County has lowest, Buchanan has highest

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Corn yield prospects are above average in the eastern half of Iowa, the top growing state, while soybean crop potential is roughly on par with recent years, scouts on an annual crop tour said on Thursday.

Farmers in the area largely had an uneventful growing season and enjoyed timely precipitation that boosted growth prospects, including heavy rains on Tuesday and Wednesday, scouts said on the final day of the four-day Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour that wraps up in southern Minnesota.

Corn yields were estimated at 189.6 bushels per acre (BPA), up from 182.2 BPA last year and the three-year crop tour average of 179.7 BPA, following 10 stops on two routes in Scott, Cedar, Johnson, Linn, Buchanan, Fayette and Winneshiek counties.

The range of yields was a low of 160 BPA in Linn County to a high of 223 BPA in Buchanan County.

Soybean pod counts per 3-by-3 foot plot averaged 1,098, just below last year’s average of 1,152.4 pods but above the three-year average in these areas of 1,077.0 pods. The high was 1,672 pods in Johnson County and the low 880 pods in Scott County.

Sudden death syndrome, a yield-cutting disease that thrives in wet conditions, was observed in some soybean fields.

The tour does not project soybean yields but instead calculates the number of pods per square yard to gauge yield potential.

“It’s a good crop, but not super good,” said Richard Guse, a crop scout and farmer in Minnesota.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Aug. 12 predicted record-large U.S. corn and soybean harvests, but the tour’s corn findings suggested that crop may be slightly smaller than government forecasts, scouts said.

The tour’s eastern leg began in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday and the western leg in Sioux Falls, S.D. The groups converged in Rochester, Minn., on Thursday, and Pro Farmer will issue its U.S. crop forecasts on Friday.

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