By Matt Reese
Rewind back to mid-August of 2019 when two groups from Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net took to the back roads of the state to take a peek at the yield potential following arguably the worst planting season in the state’s history. The 2019 Ohio Crop Tour was sponsored by AgroLiquid.
Of course, we found many fields (particularly in northwest Ohio) that were very late developmentally. This made estimating yields for the fields quite challenging. The corn yield potential was there in many fields, but the crop was in great need of a late frost and steady rainfall throughout the rest of the growing season to come close to achieving the yield potential we were seeing. Guess what happened…
Here is what we wrote at the end of the 2019 I-75/I-71 Ohio Crop Tour on Aug. 15: For corn, the average yield for the East was 175 bushels per acre, the average for the West was 167 bushels per acre and the overall average was 171 bushels. After some discussion, we felt like the 171-bushel number was reasonable statewide if all things are ideal from here on out for this crop. But, less daylight moving forward with so far to go for this crop could lead to quality and test weight issues. We feel a more reasonable expectation for this crop with less than ideal conditions moving forward is around 148 bushels, based on the significant potential for yield loss moving forward.
It is much the same with soybeans. There is 40- to 50-bushel potential and higher in many fields. But, on the western leg, it was pointed out that double-crop soybeans in Preble County were planted earlier than many of the first crop soybean fields to the northwest. There is a definite cap on that potential as a result, and if conditions are less than perfect, yield potential will likely drop off pretty quickly.
As it turned out, the actual averages in the fields were fairly close to the final reality in some cases (and not-so-close in others). We fudged the numbers down significantly because of the tremendous potential for yield loss from mid-August through harvest of 2019, though clearly much of that yield loss did not materialize, particularly in northwest Ohio. In other areas, though, dry weather set in late in the season and took its toll on yields, leaving actual yields fairly short of what we found in August fields.
Here is an excerpt from the USDA NASS Ohio Annual Crop Summary from Jan. 10 2020: Ohio’s 2019 average corn yield was 164 bushels per acre, down 23 bushels from 2018. Growers harvested 2.57 million acres for grain, down 22% from 2018. Total production of corn for grain was 421 million bushels, down 32% from 2018.
Ohio’s average soybean yield for 2019 was 49 bushels per acre, down 7 bushels from 2018. Growers harvested 4.27 million acres, down 15% from 2018. Production, at 209 million bushels, was down 26%.
After looking at so many Ohio fields in August following a planting season that was nothing short of disastrous, it is hard to believe we’d be currently be talking about an average Ohio yield of 164 bushels. So, the overall average yield estimate from the 2019 I-75/I-71 Ohio Crop Tour was fairly close, but how did we do on individual fields? We followed up with some of the farmers to find out the actual field averages of the corn we sampled and estimated back in August. Here are the results.
2019 Ohio Crop Tour corn yield follow-up
Champaign Estimated 198 Actual 155
Clark Estimated 165.5 Actual 194
Clinton Estimated 149 Actual 195
Crawford Estimated 171 Actual 211
Darke Estimated 175 Actual 150
Delaware Estimated 216 Actual 195
Fairfield Estimated 181 Actual 170
Fayette Estimated 189.5 Actual 177
Fulton Estimated 183 Actual 206
Greene Estimated 160 Actual 188
Hancock Estimated 183 Actual 231
Hardin Estimated 125 Actual 87
Henry Estimated 190 Actual 200
Highland Estimated 138 Actual 170
Holmes Estimated 180 Actual 198
Huron Estimated 170 Actual 180
Licking Estimated 150 Actual 143
Madison Estimated 120 Actual 135
Miami Estimated 202 Actual 166
Morrow Estimated 199 Actual 188
Paulding Estimated 195 Actual 170
Preble Estimated 205 Actual 205
Putnam Estimated 185 Actual 188
Ross Estimated 208 Actual 190
Union Estimated 154 Actual 155
Van Wert Estimated 183 Actual 195
Warren Estimated 150 Actual 154
Williams Estimated 160 Actual 219
Wood Estimated 200 Actual 208
Wyandot Estimated 178 Actual 227
For more results for the 2019 Crop Tour visit: https://www.ocj.com/2019/08/2019-i-75-i-71-ohio-crop-tour-summary/.