Scouts on the second day of a U.S. crop tour Tuesday saw corn and soybeans in Indiana stressed by dry weather.
Their findings confirmed damage from intense heat and dryness last month extended west from Ohio. Scouts on the first day of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour on Monday saw conditions deteriorate as they headed west toward Indiana from central Ohio.
"I expected to see dry areas," said Byron Jones, a tour participant and farmer from Illinois.
One field in Grant County in Indiana had corn ears that were missing rows of kernels down the middle of the ears. Scouts said the ears were "zippered" because the absence of kernels appeared to split them into two parts.
The average yield in that field was 129.4 bushels an acre. Last year, the tour calculated an average yield of 169.1 bushels an acre for the central Indiana district in which the field was located.
Two corn fields in north-central Indiana also showed signs of stress from hot, dry weather, including missing kernels and corn stalks without ears. The average of the estimated yields for the fields in the district was 161.5 bushels an acre, down from the tour's estimate of 171.1 bushels an acre for the same district last year.
For soybeans, scouts calculated an average of 1,327 soybean pods per three-foot-by-three-foot square in the same north-central district. That was down from last year's average of 1,387.6 soybean pods for the district.
It's not too late for soybeans to recover somewhat if rain comes, scouts said. Corn suffered permanent damage because the heat hit during its critical period of development in July.
"The soybeans this week and next week can really get a lot of benefit out of rain," Jones said.
The scouts in Indiana were on the eastern portion of the four-day tour. Several groups departed Fishers, Ind., on Tuesday morning and will meet up in Bloomington, Ill., on Tuesday night to compare their results.
There is also a western portion of the tour that departed Grand Island, Neb., Tuesday. Scouts from the eastern and western groups will converge in Austin, Minn., on Thursday. Pro Farmer, an agricultural advisory firm, is slated to issue corn and soybean crop estimates Friday based partly on results from the tours.