Michigan Farmer Logo

Between the Rows Tour continues; corn yield projections higher than predicted

Farms across Michigan are hosting the tour through the end of August.

Jennifer Kiel, Editor, Michigan Farmer and Ohio Farmer

August 24, 2023

6 Slides

According to an Aug. 11 report, USDA is estimating Michigan corn yields at 170 bushels per acre, 1.2% higher than last year. But according to the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan, the outlook might be even more promising.

During the organization’s first meeting on its Between the Rows Tour — making eight farm stops to update producers across the state — predictions are positive, with CMPM projecting yields to match or exceed USDA estimates in most counties. 

Some fields broke a 200-bpa average, but not by a lot, CMPM research manager Kristin Poley reported at the first stop on the tour Aug. 21 at Voisinet Farms in Laingsburg, Clinton County.  

Based on a weighted Between the Rows average, the estimate is 179 bpa for the state. However, time will tell how it stacks up against USDA, as past years were also predicted higher. In 2022, Between the Rows predicted a 178 bpa average, while USDA’s final average was 164 bpa, and in 2021, the tour estimated 182 bpa, while USDA came in at 174 bpa.

When parts of Michigan went upward of six weeks without rain from late May into most of June, there was a lot of speculation it might be a trying year for farmers. 

But, as many farmers attest, the rain came as a saving grace just in time for most fields, apart from the Grand Rapids area that remained dry while showers fell elsewhere. When many parts of Michigan were measuring on the drought monitor, the Thumb area was the exception. With recent heavy rains, some fields are oversaturated.

For the past three weeks, CMPM, alongside the Nutrien Ag Solutions summer intern program and local FFA chapters, has been collecting corn yield estimates from across the state of Michigan.

“Corn condition is looking good despite early season drought challenges,” said Poley, who notes that 394 checks were pulled in 36 counties. “We like to see a minimum of 10 fields per county completed. Checks are started the first week of August and are completed according to the industry standard, which is to get a plant population estimate by counting the number of plants in 1/1,000th of an acre and then counting the number of kernels on three ears per field.”

USDA pegs Michigan’s corn crop at 57% “good-to-excellent” condition.

In addition to sharing corn yield predictions by county, each stop on the tour includes a catered dinner, an input market update and a grain marketing update by local industry experts.

In addition to the Laingsburg, Marshall and Ann Arbor stops already completed, the tour continues through the end of the month and provides one restricted-use pesticide credit for each tour stop. There is no cost to attend, but RSVP for planning purposes. Click here to register.

Additional stops, all starting at 6 p.m., include:

Aug. 24. Karnatz Farms, 7780 Fuller Road, Greenville

Aug. 28. B&C Gordon Farms, 4875 Brown Road, Croswell

Aug. 29. Ruggles Beef Farm, 6327 East Sanilac Road, Kingston

Aug. 30. Szikszay Family Farms, 8329 Irish Road, Otisville

Aug. 31. Schaendorf Dairy Farms, 4463 21st St., Dorr

USDA’s Crop Production report forecasts corn production up from 2022 and soybean production down from last year. Corn production is up 10% from last year, forecast at 15.1 billion bushels. Soybean growers are expected to decrease their production 2% from 2022, forecast at 4.21 billion bushels.

Average corn yield is forecast at 175.1 bushels per acre, up 1.8 bushels from last year. The National Agricultural Statistics Service forecasts a record-high yield in Indiana. As of July 30, 55% of this year’s corn crop was reported to be in good or excellent condition, six percentage points below the same time last year.

Soybean yields are expected to average 50.9 bushels per acre, up 1.4 bushels from 2022. If realized, the forecasted yields in Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina will be record highs.

NASS interviewed about 14,700 producers across the country in preparation for this report. NASS is now gearing up to conduct its September Agricultural Survey.

About the Author(s)

Jennifer Kiel

Editor, Michigan Farmer and Ohio Farmer

Jennifer was hired as editor of Michigan Farmer in 2003, and in 2015, she began serving a dual role as editor of Michigan Farmer and Ohio Farmer. Both those publications are now online only, while the print version is American Agriculturist, which covers Michigan, Ohio, the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic. She is the co-editor with Chris Torres.

Prior to joining Farm Progress, she served three years as the manager of communications and development for the American Farmland Trust Central Great Lakes Regional Office in Michigan, and as director of communications with the Michigan Agri-Business Association. Previously, she was the communications manager at Michigan Farm Bureau's state headquarters. She also lists 10 years of experience at six different daily and weekly Michigan newspapers on her resume.

She has been a member of American Agricultural Editors’ Association (now Agricultural Communicators Network) since 2003. She has won numerous writing and photography awards through that organization, which named her a Master Writer in 2006 and Writer of Merit in 2017.

She is a board member for the Michigan 4-H Foundation, Clinton County Conservation District and Barn Believers.

Jennifer and her husband, Chris, live in St. Johns, Mich., and collectively have five grown children and four grandchildren.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like