Aug 18, 2011  |  Today's News

In many movies you see the classic scene portraying the good cop / bad cop routine. If you know the characters you may have conflicting ideas of which one is really which. The corn crop in Sangamon County is much like that this year. Is it a Good Crop / Bad Crop. 

The Farm Bureau set out to determine which character is really out in our fields. Opinions swung both ways and it wasn't until all the results were tabulated that we learned the true identity. It's neither. While the crop isn't a failure it sure isn't shaping up to be a bin buster either.

Teams of volunteers headed out into the fields this morning for the 9th consecutive year to gather critical data used in determining just where the crop stands. Using a sampling method based on 60' row counts and data tallying average grain length, average number of kernel rows, stalk population, ear population and ear/stalk ratio, the teams spent the morning surveying every township in the county. After yields for each township were sampled, the teams headed back to the Farm Bureau and had lunch, anxiously awaiting the results.

83 samples were taken throughout the county. The lowest individual sample was 113.1 bushels per acre with the highest ringing in at 248.8 bushels per acre. The overall average of the county was figured at 178.3 bushels per acre.

"We've conducted this survey for nearly ten years and throughtout that time we've seen the history of how our formula reacts to different crop conditions", said Jim Birge, Sangamon County Farm Bureau Manager. "Our formula slightly overestimates a short crop and slightly underestimates a long crop. If you take that into consideration as well as recognize the large variability of yields and crop conditions in the same field I'd feel comfortable projecting the final county yield to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 166 to 168 bushels per acre."

Birge went on to note that although they release township averages in addition to the overall county average the township information should be considered only lightly since only a few samples were taken per township. From a statistical perspective the information may not accurately reflect yields for individual townships, however, since over 80 samples were taken county wide, these numbers should offer a closer representation to the overall county yield.