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Final results announced for Crop Watch projectFinal results announced for Crop Watch project

Crop Watch: Final yield and top winners named in contest.

Tom Bechman 1

November 23, 2016

3 Min Read

The Crop Watch '16 project is in the books. This series followed one cornfield closely all season, hopefully providing readers tips about what to look for in their fields based on what showed up in this one. The field was located in central Indiana.

Dave Nanda, crop consultant for Seed Consultants Inc., Washington Courthouse, Ohio, followed the progress of the field all season. Seed Consultants sponsored this year’s Crop Watch project, including the seed awarded to the top three winners in the yield estimation contest.


“This field was a nightmare for the farmer, but a source of lots of information for someone like me who was trying to study how the crop reacted to various conditions,” Nanda says.

Field summary

The 20-acre field was planted April 27. That turned out to be the day not to plant in 2016. Of course, no one knew that at the time. The weather turned much cooler and wetter than predicted for nearly three weeks after planting.

The stand was acceptable in most of the field, but weak in spots, Nanda recalls. The farmer chose to leave the stand while some neighbors tore up their fields planted the same day. Instead, he spotted in an earlier hybrid in the weaker spots.

In the end, a good portion of the corn that was spotted in contributed to yield, Nanda believes. Where the original stand was better, some of what was planted later became weeds and contributed little, if any, to final yield.


“Gray leaf spot and southern rust came in late,” Nanda observes. “These diseases came in so late that, in most years, they wouldn’t affect yield. This year they came in so hard that they may have affected yield some in this field, and definitely affected yield in many fields located farther south.”

When the dust cleared after harvest, the farmer was glad he had left the original stand. It was difficult to determine if the original corn yielded more than what was spotted in, but he didn’t have the costs of a full replant.

Yield and winners

Bring out the big bass drum! And the final average yield at 15.5% moisture was … 184.1 bushels per acre.

Three farmers who guessed closest to the final actual yield will receive seed for 2017 from Seed Consultants.

The first place winner is Kelly Duncan, Kingman, with an estimate of 181 bushels per acre, missing the mark by only 3.1 bushels.

Craig Angle, Rushville, took second with an estimate of 187.5 bushels per acre, off by only 3.4 bushels.

Steve Stine, Wingate, captured third place, estimating yield at 187.8 bushels per acre — off by only 3.7 bushels.

Congratulations to the winners. Thanks to everyone who followed along during the season. If you learned just one thing from this project, then you’re a winner, too!

Final results announced for Crop Watch project

THIRD PLACE: Steve Stine took third place in the
Crop Watch ’16 contest. He wins seed from Seed Consultants.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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