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Crop Yields All Over the MapCrop Yields All Over the Map

Figuring out Indiana yields like playing pin the tail on the donkey.

Tom Bechman 1

September 27, 2011

3 Min Read

From reports coming in from the field, even though it's early, trying to pinpoint Indiana yields, especially on corn, is like trying to pin the tail on the donkey blind-folded in the age-old party game. The goal may be to put the tail on the rear of the donkey, but apparently most will be way off once they pin the tail and open their eyes. Very few will have the tail, and their yields, where they want them this year.

Here are some anecdotal reports form reliable sources that set the table for a less than stellar harvest. Soybeans may not be affected as much, but they're obviously still affected.

One farmer in central Indiana says out of his first 400 acres of dryland corn, with gravel at three feet, his best yield for corn was 40 bushels per acre

The same farmer harvested 85 bushels four years ago in a field that made 40 this year and thought 85 bushels was bad, in good years with rain, he's harvested up to 180 bushels per acre.

A farmer north of Indianapolis typically harvests 170 to 190 bushel per acre corn. He says it till be pushing it for his county to average 120 bushels per acre, well below trend yield.

Corn yields are highly variable. One farmer says he's seeing nearly 100 bushel per acre differences within the same row from one part of the field to the other. It's all tied to soil type, with lower ground yielding more than higher ground, unless it didn't get flooded in early June.

A farmer who plants soybeans in March said his first field of March beans made 49 bushels per acre. His next two yielded 27 and 32.

A neighbor of the above farmer has harvested soybeans at both 22 bushels per acre and 51 bushels per acre so far this year.

One farmer found he couldn't shell 31% corn to meet an early delivery program because the combine ground it up too much. He has harvested similar moistures before with little problems. He wonders if it is because the corn died prematurely.

A field of irrigated seed corn made 11 bushels per acre- bad pollination nick.

Two other irrigated seed fields averaged just over 30 bushels per acre. That's low to average for seed yield, but is a blessing compared to a harvest of 11 bushels per acre.

The eastern half of Indiana remains a mystery. Some say the late-planted corn there is decent, others say it's not. It sounds like a hot-and-miss situation. Actual yield reports have not come in yet.

Yields in western Illinois are better than expected. One farmer's first field went 137 bushels per acre, a disappointment for him on his soils. Now he's into 150 to 180 bushel per acre corn.

Yields in central Illinois are around 120 bushels per acre and up, but about 60 bushels per acre off pace vs. normal for those areas.

It's what's in the middle of the field that counts- not what's on the outside rows. Higher temperatures have led to barren stalks and shorter ears in the inner parts of the field.

Soybean reports from areas which receive more timely rains have yet to come in.

Reports of corn diseases are beginning to filter in. Some are ear rots. Goss's wilt is spilling the border from Illinois.

Have you harvested yet? If you have, tell us your yield so we can share them and help everyone get a better pcituere of ields across Indiana and the country. Email: [email protected]

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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