Monday, August 27, 2012

Corn Report: How much corn is in that field

Me, the men and the corn. 

On Friday, I went on a brand new adventure called a crop tour. The Boy will tell you about how geeked up I was about the whole deal, but seriously I was pretty excited.

So what is a crop tour? Well, our crop tour was just in our county. People divided up into teams (teams does not mean a competition I found out) and explore corn fields in the area to try and determine the possible amount of corn that will be harvested.

Have you heard on the news how this year's corn crop is going to be way down? How in the world do they determine that before the corn is even harvested. Well there is a formula and I learned all about it on the crop tour.

First you need 30 feet of rope. You lay that rope down against a random row, and count how many ears are along the 30 feet. Next they picked the ears off of the 3rd, 8th and 11th stalks and brought them in for counting. You do this in a couple different spots in the field to get a more accurate idea.

OK back at the truck now. There is a formula where you count how many kernels around the corn is (16 is ideal) and measure how long it is and then include the pervious stalk counts in your calculation. Boom you have an approximation of how many bushels an acre you will get in that field.

Now what does any of this mean to you that don't live on a farm or have anything to do with a farm. Well the bushels (bu) in our area are going to be way down. The fields we did were anywhere from 80+ bu to 211 bu. Our area of the country is corn country, and is known for consistently producing 200+ bu corn. Bottom line. Food prices are going up. 

You can see that there was a lot of variation, and that guy at the bottom
isn't very healthy. All these ears came from the same field.
Because livestock are fed corn in addition to forages like grass, and corn syrup is found in all those sugary sweets we enjoy like pop our country needs a lot of corn, and there isn't going to be a lot of it this year. If you want to see more pictures you can check out or on Twitter find the hashtag #croptour12


  1. Bottom line is everything will go up. Been seeing that for a while now.
    Thanks for explaining it all though.
    Have a blessed week! ♥

  2. Very interesting. And, as a CPA who used to do a lot of auditing, that's a very good random sample method. Excellent post.

  3. Pretty much none of the corn around SW MO made it this year and farmers are just baling it up. It is quite sad!

    1. Our one field we had to chop for silage because it was so bad. We'll see how our other does. At least we will have feed for our cattle.


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