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Senior Advisor

Prospects for the 2014 Indiana Corn Crop

Sorry about the BIG letters I can't get the dam things smaller this moring ! But - there I thing I got it , I'm on the same boat as Bob , I call it's Kens gut feeling - I do custom work around here and I was figureing that I would be covered up with rescue N = none so far - there go's the new ranger or gator ! Yesterday a got a e-mail showing the state by state break down of yields ( Guess's ) for this year - Indiana was at 181.1 !!! The record last year was 177 something !  I say that's bold talk from a one eyed fat man ,  As Bob waits for the fat lady to sing - Ken will be looking for another bottle of Tum's - for that " Gut Feeling "

 

 

 

R.L. (Bob) Nielsen
Agronomy Dept., Purdue Univ.
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054
Email address: rnielsen at purdue.edu
 

pros·pect
/ˈpräsˌpekt/
noun (plural: prospects)
1. The possibility or likelihood of some future event occurring.

Seems like everywhere you turn, the "word in the street" is that the prospects for the 2014 Indiana corn crop are nothing short of the moon. Coffee shops and farm shops are abuzz with talk of the prospects of high yields. Farm magazine Web sites, chat rooms, blogs, Twitter feeds, and Facebook pages are alive with the prospects of the 2014 corn crop throughout the Midwest, not just in Indiana. The Chicago Board of Trade and the grain marketing trade obviously believe in the prospects for a bumper crop nationwide.

The immortal Yogi Berra once said, "You can observe a lot by just watching." I agree that many fields I have walked in recent weeks around the state look as good as I have seen in a long time............. at least since this time last year. It is also true that I have seen fields in recent weeks that look as bad as I have seen in a long time........... at least since this time last year. As an agronomist, I certainly agree with Yogi Berra who also said, "It ain't over till it's over."

Corn crop conditions as of 7/13/14
Fig. 1. Percent of Indiana corn crop rated good to excellent as of 13 July 2014,
compared to recent years' crop condition ratings. Data source: USDA-NASS.
[Click image to view larger version.]

The "upside" for some of the 2014 Indiana corn crop is that stand establishment was pretty good, there has been no shortage of rainfall to date (for most of us), temperatures have been moderate to date, disease pressure has been low to date, and the weather forecast for much of the pollination period looks favorable.The "downside" for some of the 2014 Indiana corn crop is that planting was significantly delayed due to frequent spring rainfall, stand establishment was terrible in some fields and required one or more replantings to "get it right", and subsequent rainfall has been excessive causing significant root death/damage, plant mortality, overall stunting of the crop and significant loss of soil nitrate-nitrogen.

It is true that the estimates of crop condition statewide published by USDA-NASS are currently quite good (75% good or excellent as of 13 July). When compared to crop conditions in recent years where statewide yields were significantly above trend (2001, 2004, 2009, and 2013), the prospects for a good corn crop in 2014 certainly look promising (Fig. 1)................... as long as growing conditions for the remainder of the growing season continue to be favorable.

There are those who question the accuracy of the weekly USDA-NASS crop condition ratings, but there are in fact reasonably accurate historical relationships between those estimates of crop condition ratings and eventual percent departures from trend yield, especially as the season progresses (i.e., as the "target" gets closer). In fact, if the current crop condition ratings (75% good to excellent) remain steady through September, the historical relationship suggests that this year's Indiana corn crop could yield as much as 8% above the 2014 trend yield or approximately 178 bu/ac. By comparison, the 2013 Indiana corn crop, in another overall good growing season, yielded 177 bu/ac or 7.7% above the 2013 trend yield estimate AND had a higher crop condition rating (80% good or excellent) at this same time in July last year.

Ifs, ands, and buts...

Yes, the corn crop in Indiana looks good at this point in time. Yes, the prospects for good yields this year are promising. But........... the crop has only "rounded second base" on its way to "home plate". By this I mean that almost half of the growing season remains ahead of this crop.

If Mother Nature's "spigot" would turn off and soils rapidly dry to excessively low levels, much of this crop that is likely shallow-rooted due to the early wet season would suffer quickly. Conditions recently have been conducive for the development of foliar diseases, but time will tell whether they will "explode" or not over the coming weeks. The absence of wide-spread nitrogen (N) deficiency symptoms is curious given the excess of rainfall in many areas, but the question lingers whether N deficiency may yet appear during the grain fill period and limit kernel weight. Any severe stress during the grain fill period that limits photosynthesis will encourage corn plants to remobilize stored carbohydrates from the lower stalk tissue to the developing kernels. Such "cannibalization" of lower stalk tissue predisposes the plant to root or stalk rot disease development, leading to weaker stalks and higher risks of stalk breakage or lodging prior to harvest. Such severe photosynthetic stresses include foliar disease, nutrient deficiency, hail damage, and drought stress.

Another old saying seems appropriate at this point in the 2014 growing season, "The opera ain't over until the fat lady sings." (journalist Ralph Carpenter, 1976

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Honored Advisor

Re: Prospects for the 2014 Indiana Corn Crop

Yesterday by Albert Lea I noticed a hill where the beans were kind of rolling their leaves in the afternoon Sun and shrinking a little..not a big area, but if the spigot did shut off as shallow rooted as things must be it could get the crop a haircut.  With corn tasseling, the roots are done growing.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Prospects for the 2014 Indiana Corn Crop

I was mowing hay yesterday right next to a bean field that was planted Easter Sunday afternoon. They have NOT filled in the rows and are NOT knee high yet. Thirty inch rows. Not mine but the seed was borrowed from my pile so he could keep going..

 

Most beans are smaller than normal around here (not all but most) . Also was what I saw all the way to Minneapolis Sunday.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Prospects for the 2014 Indiana Corn Crop

A line from the "Smokey and the Bandit" movie song comes to mind here........"A long ways to go.....and a short time to get there" 

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Highlighted
Esteemed Advisor

Re: Prospects for the 2014 Indiana Corn Crop

Hey Ken, run your seed order through me with Beck's and I'll get you the gator nc Smiley Wink

 

3 things:

 

1. The WC and NW part of IN (40% of normal state yields) is very likely to be over a 200 average, easy, it is simply perfect. This is where Big Bob lives and it is hard for anyone of ignore the feeling driving home every day. With even one more 1" or higher rain this month on the rest of the state, there is no where that will be below average, so getting to 180 isn't as hard as it looks.

 

2. I haven't seen more than 2 fields that need a N boost, 2 out of 2 mil acres is meaningless. For whatever reason, that many don't understand, the N loss just wasn't as bad as it should have been. (the reason is cold soil temps I believe, but I am no expert either.) The effect of soil available N being higher after droughts also is present but impossible to quantify.

 

3. Beans are a completely different animal, the G/E ratings for them I find difficult to explain, they are average most everywhere I have driven. Cold/Wet May and June, REQUIRES a dry July (got that)  and then a hot wet August. Time to include an early August hurricane for the gulf on our wish list.Smiley Surprised

 

As usual, everything Bob N. suggests is accurate, and obvious all at the same time giving it little value for decision making. The market discounts the multiple potential futures, with money flow actually setting the price, so if it has discounted the wrong future  the market will have been wrong, at least briefly, but the bulls have been wrong for 2 years in a row.

 

Ultimately, how many times can bad weather (in a part of the world with statistically very good weather historically) occur to bail out a producer, surely not 4 years in a row. Maybe but then next year will be perfect....and the market knows it, so the money does not flow in.

 

Just early morning thoughts

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Senior Advisor

Re: Prospects for the 2014 Indiana Corn Crop

Good post Time - I can't argue with one thing you said - But will add this on the 200 yields -- I did some figureing the other day - I used last years yields - I know what I had to replant - and I lostr about 5 acres of that the second time - So I did a total on acres - used zero on the 5 - used 150 bpa onthe other acres and still come up with a 200 to 210  bpa average - useing a varity of yields . So I would say your very good on the numbers .

 

Your also dead on the beans - never seem them act like this -  But some of my best beans have been pretty ugly looking - they MAY be the biggest surprise .  "Time " will tell  -- right ?  

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Senior Advisor

Re: Prospects for the 2014 Indiana Corn Crop

After 4 hours, you better see a doctor.

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