Producers eye harvest with cautious optimism -Braun
Harvest for U.S. Crop Watch corn and soybean fields is right around the corner and producers have mixed feelings heading into the busy season, which should pick up speed within the next two weeks.
The best prospects for strong yields lie in the top growing states of Illinois and Iowa and potentially Minnesota. But the producers know the weather has been imperfect this year and factors like early heat, disease, and frequent bouts of dry weather could affect results more than anticipated.
Crop Watch producers have been scoring yield potential weekly on a 1-to-5 scale, with 3 representing average yields and 5 record or near-record yields. Scores will be finalized upon harvest and final Crop Watch yields a few times in the past have surprised high or low by more than a point.
The 11-field, unweighted average soybean yield dropped to 3.57 from 3.59 last week after a small cut in western Iowa. Bean size appears disappointingly small there and early harvest results in the area are worse than expected following persistent dryness during the key development period.
Only three Crop Watch soybean fields are seen besting last year’s final yield scores: Minnesota, western Illinois and Indiana. Eastern Iowa is set to tie 2021, but the other six are lower, including margins of 1 point or more in Nebraska, Kansas and western Iowa.
No changes were made to corn yield projections in the latest week. The 11-field, unweighted average remains at 3.68 versus a final of 3.86 last year as more heavy-hitting states are set to fall short of year-ago results. The Kansas corn was finalized earlier this month at a 1.
Crop Watch corn fields in the Dakotas, Minnesota, and western Illinois are expected to outperform last year, but the other seven are seen yielding less, most prominently in Kansas and Nebraska based on drought, and in Ohio following late and wet planting.
The following are the states and counties of the 2022 Crop Watch corn and soybean fields: Griggs, North Dakota; Kingsbury, South Dakota; Freeborn, Minnesota; Burt, Nebraska; Rice, Kansas; Audubon, Iowa; Cedar, Iowa; Warren, Illinois; Crawford, Illinois; Tippecanoe, Indiana; Fairfield, Ohio.