Drought and extreme heat in the western United States crop belt have taken a toll on corn. The plant is short. The stem is brown. Also, it often happens that the cob is not completely filled with yellow grains.

But in the East, the situation is not so bad. In parts of Indiana and Ohio, abundant rains keep the soil moist. Yield prospects vary from farm to farm and even acre to acre. However, there is optimism that some regions are in good enough condition to beat the historical average.

These are the findings so far from our 4 day Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. As the Scouts head into the second half of their tour, the question becomes: Will conditions in the East suffice to compensate for poor harvests in the West?

Much of it ends up in two states. Illinois and Iowa are big US corn producers and where scouts will head Wednesday. Iowa is of particular interest because it lies at the intersection of drought in the west and rain in the east. The state is also the number one grain producer. So is Iowa, and so is the national harvest.

This is important for a world grappling with raging food inflation and rising levels of hunger. War and climate change have dwindled grain stocks, and food prices are skyrocketing. If the U.S. can harvest a large harvest of corn, it could provide a much-needed remedy.

The eastern and western legs of the Harvest Tour meet on Thursday in Minnesota to tabulate the measurements taken over the week. Then on Friday, Pro Farmer will release its national corn yield forecast, based in part on the tour’s findings.

Whether the country’s numbers are a little disappointing or downright terrible depends on who you ask and which leg of the tour you take.

Nebraska corn is ‘done’

Take Peter Meyer, Head of Grains and Oilseeds Analytics at S&P Global Platts, for example. He has seen the fields so dry that the corn has no ears.

“I’ve been on harvest tours for 16 years and have never set foot in an earless field.” Is not it?”

Soybeans typically grow late in the season, but are still considered harvestable if enough rain falls between now and the start of harvest a few weeks later. “No chance at all,” Mayer said. “finished.”

Still, plants are more mature and lush in the eastern fields, and the crop still shows potential to add bushels in this final stretch of the growing season, as long as sufficient showers arrive during the grain filling period. increase.

Agro-Economics crop consultant and eastern tour scout Mark Bernard is slightly more optimistic than his western colleagues.

“There are still some fields with good potential, but we need rain,” he said.

Meyer of the western leg also issued a warning about getting too caught up in the bad results seen so far.

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