By Karen Braun
FORT COLLINS, Colo., Sept 16 (Reuters) - Recent and expected warm temperatures are seen helping late-planted U.S. corn and soybeans move toward maturity and avoid early frost, but the Crop Watch producers are not any more optimistic about yields as a result. The growers still have concerns about light test weights in the corn and low pod counts in the soybeans, along with reduced pod fill in the last couple weeks.
Crop Watch 2019 follows one corn and one soybean field in eight major U.S. Corn Belt states, reporting on weekly progress as of Sunday. The fields belong to the same eight growers from last year’s Crop Watch. (https://tmsnrt.rs/2Waikwk)
Each week, the producers evaluate yield potential on a scale from 1 to 5. The lowest score is well below farm average, 3 is near farm average, and 5 is well above. Condition scores have been discontinued as they become less meaningful as crops move toward maturity.
The eight-field average for corn yield stayed at 3.25 as no changes were made this week. Soybean yield expectations fell slightly to 3.25 from 3.28 in the previous week based on a minor reduction in Illinois.
EAST CENTRAL NORTH DAKOTA
Corn and soybean yield scores remain at 2.5 apiece. The corn has reached the dent stage, the final one before black layer, which is fully mature corn. Black layer is expected in two or three weeks, but it may take until mid-November for the corn to dry down sufficiently for harvest, assuming normal weather. The soybeans could be ready for harvest in three weeks. The recent warm weather is helping move crops along, but the rains have been highly detrimental to the small grain harvest. Many area producers are taking huge quality discounts on their wheat as a result, and harvest has been slow.
Corn and soybean yield scores remain at 3.75 and 4, respectively. The crops received 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain last week, and despite some warmer days, there were more clouds than sunshine, which is needed. The same trend of warm temperatures with cloudy conditions will continue this week. The subject corn field was planted on time, but late-planted fields in the area probably need a month yet to make maturity.
Corn and soybean yield scores remain at 4 and 3.5, respectively. The warmer temperatures will help move the crops more quickly toward maturity. The weather could potentially still benefit the beans, but the corn is done at this point. Excessive rainfall in the Northern Plains last week has caused flooding in the area, which is close to the Missouri River, for the third time this year. That is more likely to negatively impact soybeans than corn.
Corn and soybean yield scores remain at 2.5 and 3.5, respectively. The corn may be ready for harvest in about 10 days, and while it is drying down quickly due to the heat, the producer thinks test weights could be impacted. The soybeans would still benefit from rains, though the pods are beginning to harden. Rain would also be preferred as the area prepares to plant winter wheat. The corn harvest has begun in the area and so far, the results are average as expected.
EAST CENTRAL IOWA
Corn and soybean yield scores remain at 4 and 3.5, respectively. The corn is a week from black layer. Warm temperatures and 2 inches (51 mm) of rain last week were helpful for the crops, but the producer is concerned that soybean yield expectations could be a bit high because the number of pods per plant is not strong. There is also concern that later-planted corn in the area might come in lighter than expected, so producers remain cautiously optimistic.
Corn yield remains at 3.25 but the producer reduced soybean yield to 3.25 from 3.5. There has been no rain in the last two weeks, and the next week looks dry. This is especially concerning for the replanted part of the fields, where the beans are still green. The earlier-planted beans have mostly turned yellow, a sign they are closer to maturity. The producer is also concerned that the replanted corn may have lighter test weights than he expected.
Corn and soybean yield scores remain at 2.25 and 3, respectively. The recent and expected warm weather has somewhat eased earlier concerns over whether very late-planted corn would make maturity. However, the weather is not necessarily adding to yields. The producer still expects that most harvest activity in the area will occur next month.
Corn and soybean yield scores remain at 3.75 and 2.75, respectively. The producer’s area has recently been dry and there is no rain in the forecast. Soybeans could have benefitted from more moisture, but the dryness and heat will prevent any bushels from being added at this point. The corn field is finished, and the heat is helping it to dry down. Area producers are not overly optimistic, especially with later-planted fields, and crops in the northern part of the state need frost to hold off until Nov. 1, at least.
Field photos and more information on Crop Watch 2019 can be found on Twitter using the hashtag #CropWatch19 or by following the handle @kannbwx.
The following are the states and counties of the Crop Watch corn and soybean fields: Griggs, North Dakota; Freeborn, Minnesota; Burt, Nebraska; Rice, Kansas; Cedar, Iowa; Crawford, Illinois; Boone, Indiana; Fairfield, Ohio.
(Editing by Matthew Lewis)