August 25, 2015–The Logan County Farm Bureau Young Leaders Group conducted their 1st annual crop tour on the 20th of August. The mission of the crop tour was to evaluate the overall condition of the corn crop in Logan County. Eli Klokkenga and Matt Wrage spear headed the crop tour with consistency and accuracy in mind. Mother Nature plays an important role in the production of a corn crop. Some years she is kind, such as last year, some years she deals a tough hand as she did this year. The large amounts of rain from early summer followed by a rapid dry up have made estimating an overall yield of any field let alone an entire county a very difficult task.

All samples were taken with the same strategy. Enter a field from multiple locations, go well beyond the end rows to a point that was representative of the field, take a harvestable ear count and select every 10th ear for a sample. Kernel counts were taken from all the ear samples and multiplied by their respected stand counts. The Counts were divided by 90,000 kernels per bushel. 90k was selected over 80k to account for possible lighter test weight and smaller kernel size due to unfavorable grain fill from lack of nitrogen and premature death from shallow roots. This strategy was performed in four locations of every field sampled. The specific fields sampled were randomly chosen however they were in strategic locations to provide the best possible coverage for the county. Samples were taken from each township in the county. To analyze the data, the county was divided into 4 quadrants (NW,SW,SE,NE).

The Numbers are in…
Northwest Quadrant 177.3 BPA
Southwest Quadrant 180.1 BPA
Southeast Quadrant 192.6 BPA
Northeast Quadrant 189.7 BPA
Preliminary Average 184.9

The difficult task on a year like this is putting in a factor to account for the large amounts of wet areas that will produce little to no corn at all. A drone was deployed over a few fields in the survey to better grasp this issue. One field showed 20% + that will be a complete loss. There is no scientific or mathematical equation to produce this factor. However, one car ride across the county and most will agree this factor cannot be ignored. For this "factor" it was decided to reduce our final yield analysis by a completely subjective number of 5 %. For a final yield estimate of Logan County's corn crop of 175.7 BPA.

In addition to the yield estimate notes were also taken on the progress and the agronomic state of the crop. In an estimated 20% of the fields stalk quality is of concern for standblity into harvest. Some ear molds were present in a few of the sampled fields. This included Diplodia as well as Gibberella and Fusarium. Many of the fields had very little green left in them. This was a result of shallow root structure and lack of nitrogen. As of the 20th none of the plants had reached maturity (black layer) although a few were close.

For more information on the crop tour or the Logan County Farm Bureau Young Leaders Group please contact the Logan County Farm Bureau at 217-732-7326.