A promising start to harvest this fall gave way to an outlook as gray as the skies that hovered over the Midwest and Plains the past couple of weeks. Growers filing Feedback From The Field this week had plenty of time on their hands due to heavy rains that parked combines and increased worries about damage to corn and soybeans.
Though average yield expectations remain above average, hopes for big enough yields to lower costs appear to be slipping away. Farmers lowed ratings this week along with yield projections. Some warned that any estimates were based on incomplete knowledge about what was happen in fields that were too wet to inspect.
“So much for a bin busting, record soy crop,” lamented a producer from the “thumb” of Michigan, one of the areas hard hit by weather. “Measurable part of crop is now down in the mud.”
On the other side of the growing region in eastern South Dakota, another farm was in the same boat – just about literally.
“Haven't seen the sun in weeks,” was the assessment. “The only dry spots are in the house and machine shed where all the equipment sits and waits for dry weather. Lots of crops will be left in the fields because the ground is too wet to harvest it.”
Down in southeast Nebraska the verdict was much the same. A grower there estimated soybean yields at 70 bushels per acre – if they could reach them.
“We have very good soybean yields but we can't harvest them with the weather the way it is,” said the farmer. “We don't know how much damage has occurred from all this rain until we get back in the field.”
Indeed, disease, lodging and shatter could ultimately cut the size of the 2018 crop, though the extent of the problem may not show up until USDA’s November or January crop estimates. Average yields reported so far this week were in line with USDA’s previous estimates. Farmers put corn at 182.6 bpa with soybeans at 52.4 bpa.
What’s happening out your way? Click this Feedback From The Field link to rate crops in your area and provide comments about your fields and yield estimates. We’ll update reports frequently with the interactive map below that lets you see what other growers are saying around the country. Click the box in the upper left-hand corner to bring up the weekly index; scroll down to see the most current week.
Follow along with the season here:
Feedback From The Field - Oct. 8, 2018 - Ratings ease a little but yields hold up strong despite variations.
Feedback From The Field - Oct. 1, 2018 - Producers see improved conditions as more enter fields.
Feedback From the Field - Sept. 24, 2018 - Growers not as optimistic as USDA
Feedback From The Field - Sept. 17, 2018 - Growers not as optimistic as USDA, but still see better yields.
Feedback From The Field - Sept. 4, 2018 - Conditions improve last week as soybeans impress.
Feedback From The Field - Aug. 27, 2018 - Crops improved last week but some fields still suffer.
Feedback From The Field - Aug. 20, 2018 - Boom or bust yields look possible ahead of harvest.
Feedback From The Field - Aug. 9, 2018 - Farmers see good corn and soybean crops so far.
Feedback From The Field - Aug. 6, 2018 - Corn fades, beans come on.
Feedback From The Field - July 25, 2018 - Crops grow, so do worries.
Feedback From The Field - July 16, 2018 - Growers sound more optimistic about crops.
Feedback From The Field - July 12, 2018 - Yield potential ranges from boom to bust.
Feedback From The Field - July 9, 2018 - Growers voice concerns about conditions.
Feedback From The Field - July 2, 2018 - Crops hang on despite hot week.
Feedback From the Field - June 25, 2018 - Heavy rains help some fields, hurt others growers say.
Feedback From the Field - June 18, 2018 - Corn ratings slip after a hot week with hit-or-miss rains.
Feedback From the Field - June 11, 2018 - Corn improves but weekend rains could be crucial.
Feedback From the Field - June 4, 2018 - Crop conditions hold steady, but not as strong as USDA’s ratings.
Feedback From the Field - May 21, 2018 - Will corn planting progress meet the market’s models?
Feedback From the Field - May 14, 2018 - Planting progress hit or miss in the second week of May.
Feedback From the Field - May 7, 2018 - Growers make rapid planting progress outside the far north.
Feedback From the Field - May 2, 2018 - Some growers welcome this week’s rains.
Feedback From The Field - April 30, 2018 - More growers get into the field over the weekend.
Feedback From The Field - April 23, 2018 - April ending with cold, wet conditions stalling planting.
Feedback From The Field - April 19, 2018 - Rain, snow, fires and mud – this spring has it all.
Feedback From The Field - April 18, 2018 - Welcome to springtime in the Midwest.
Feedback From The Field - April 16, 2018 - Interactive tool helps growers share conditions.