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Do the math: 'Droughts are funny that way'

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As the July Crop Tour traveled through the heart of Iowa on Thursday, it found generally better yields than seen back in the eastern Corn Belt earlier in the week. Yield checks projected 162 bu/ac for the parts of the state covered. But, more math is needed to reflect the effects of the drought, one farmer believes.


"Overall, the results from Iowa were better than I expected for corn, with a statewide average so far coming in at 162 bu/ac," said tour guide Kyle Tapley, MDA EarthSat meteorologist.  "This is likely a little high since some of the corn had just finished pollinating and some kernel abortion will occur."


In Marketing Talk this morning, one Iowa farmer encouraged some further math to calculate the full impact of the drought:


"Too much sub-100 out there to equal 160 state average here in Iowa," Hobbyfarmer wrote. "They [the tour] must have found a lot of 200 bu out there. If nothing else the kernel depth is not going to be there. Going from 90,000 kernels to 110,000 to make a bushel changes the yield down 20ish percent right there. If we miss the rain/shower event this weekend the test wt will also be down.


"Take a ear count, row count, row length count and take 20% off for small kernels then take 7% off for test wt and their numbers might not work out. Go with 120,000 to a bu. The good corn suddenly gets average and well the rest not so good as it looks. Droughts are funny that way."