Drought Sacks Corn in South Dakota, Ohio, Harvest Doesn’t Look Great Either


Estimating crop quality while driving down the road is rarely helpful. As the old saying goes, looks can be deceiving.

That’s true for corn and soybeans in southeastern South Dakota, where the western leg of the 2022 Pro Farmer Crop Tour began this morning. Recent rains have greened crops and even grass in ditches along the roads.

“If the guys are driving down the road and think they’re going to have a 150 bushel crop of corn here, they have to take the 1 out,” Flory says, quoting a farmer he spoke with last week.

“I thought he was exaggerating the situation, but now that I’ve seen it, that’s not the case. This corn has seen a lot of bad days,” adds Flory, AgriTalk host and leader of the western leg of the tour, which will travel through parts of South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa before ending in Minnesota.

Flory had just finished his fourth stop of the morning when he spoke to AgriTalk guest host Davis Michaelsen and provided a less than stellar crop overview for South Dakota.

Last year, farmers in the state averaged about 140 bu. per acre in corn and 41 bu. per acre of soybeans at harvest. Depending on the weather, the beans could still have some yield, says Flory, but he’s less optimistic about corn yields from what he’s seen today.

He is referring to what his daughter, Emily, who has been touring for 12 years, found in the corn sampled this morning.

“She called me on her phone from a field and was like, ‘Hey, come over here and help me find some ears,'” Flory told Michaelsen. “We found nine cobs in a 60 foot row, and there should have been at least 85 to 90 cobs there. These fields had poor pollination and the soils are dry.

Further upstate, Flory adds, scouts saw slightly better harvests, but not by much.

“The harvest is best when you head west from Sioux Falls and stay within 8 to 10 miles of Interstate 90,” says Flory. “But it’s always hard here.”

Listen to Flory’s full report from South Dakota here:

On the eastern leg of the tour, Brian Grete, editor of Pro Farmer, is in Ohio where he says there’s lots of moisture but lots of variability in corn and soybeans.

ohio corn yield“Last year I had the best corn crop in Ohio I’ve ever seen,” Grete recalls. “Unfortunately, I think it’s safe to say that the corn crop yield here will be lower than last year. We’re seeing the populations are down, the length of the ears isn’t quite there, and there’s a lot of grain abortion,” he adds.

As of noon today, Grete’s team had made five stops, south of Dayton, Ohio, to assess and estimate crops.

“That happens to be the road I take, there’s not a lot of corn and soy in that area,” he says.

Ohio soybeansSoybeans on his route look a bit better than corn, but Grete says he still sees a wide range of quality.

“In soybeans, I saw a 60 bu. crop. Again, there’s too much variability for the crop to achieve maximum yields. It’s going to be all over the yields,” he says.

“There are many fields that are still blooming. It’s very wet here, so it’s just a matter of yield potential here and then getting it to the finish line,” he adds.

Later in the day, Grete’s team will travel to Indiana, then Illinois and ending in Minnesota, where scouts will connect with team members on the western leg of the tour.

You can listen to Grete’s morning report in full here:


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