This year’s tour was highly anticipated due to the early growing season problems and high crop variability. In the tour, soybean crop conditions are measured by taking pod counts in 3×3 foot squares. The results showed top soybean producer Illinois at 1271 pods versus a 3-year average of 1259, and Indiana’s count was 1310 versus a 3-year average of 1229. Ohio had 1253, which was significantly above the 3-year average of 1161, and Iowa was 1190 versus 1179. Minnesota had 984 pods compared to a 3-year average of 1071. Nebraska’s count was 1160 versus a 3-year average of 1196, and South Dakota’s was 1013 versus a 3-year average of 1040. Of the seven states visited by the tour, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota had pod counts that were under the 3-year averages.
The final tour results are in, and soybean yield was estimated at 49.7 bushels per acre versus 50.9 in the USDA’s August update. Using a 2% margin of error pegs Pro Farmer yield in a range of 50.7-48. This will be viewed as friendly for the market to start next week.
The wild card this year is the extreme heat and dryness experienced this week, which some crop tour participants said was taking a major toll on the bean plants, with reports of aborted pods and fewer and smaller beans. There have been reports of 20% aborted in some fields in the drier areas. With the extended forecasts showing only light scattered rains for the next 10 days across the soybean belt, further damage could be seen. Once harvest begins, we may further reductions in yield estimates.
Monday’s weekly crop condition report will be very important to gauge this week’s deterioration. A surprise bullish reaction is possible if conditions fall sharply, especially after today’s tour results came in below USDA.
Originally Published August 25, 2023
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