Lindsay and I are on our way to Columbus so she can drop me off for my annual crop scouting pilgrimage across the Eastern Corn Belt, also known as the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. This will be the sixth year I’ve covered the Tour for the National Association of Farm Broadcasting. My coverage this year is sponsored by Pioneer Hi-Bred International, the title sponsor of the tour. No doubt we’ll see lots of Pioneer varieties in fields across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota this week.
The Tour is in its second decade, probably approaching the big 3-0, really. It started as pretty small affair many moons ago, and now features several dozen scouts, professional agronomists, international visitors from several South American countries, and numerous trade and business media. Naturally with the volatility of the markets, folks want to know how the corn and bean crops across the corn belt are really shaping up.
This will be an interesting tour this year given the weather variability across the geography. States like Illinois are behind in their development, and states like Ohio are expecting near-record yields. I’m excited to show the Illinois boys we can actually grow corn in the Buckeye State (they’re convinced they’re the only ones who really know what they’re doing ).
The Tour runs through Thursday night, and I’ll traverse five states, sampling roughly a dozen fields each day. There should be at least a dozen vehicles of scouts traveling a dozen or so routes as we migrate West from Columbus to Fishers, Indiana Monday, from Fishers to Bloomington, Illinois Tuesday, from Bloomington to Iowa City, Iowa Wednesday, and from Iowa City to Worthington, Minnesota Thursday. We’ll meet up there with the Western leg of the Tour, which will simultaneously travel from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Grand Island NE, Grand Island to Nebraska City, Nebraska City to Spencer, Iowa, and from Spencer to the rendezvous point in Worthington.
I’ll have dispatches from the field here, via Twitter and Facebook, and each day we’ll have exclusive audio on demand on the front page at BuckeyeAg.com. Stay tuned; it’s going to be a crop-tacular week!