Using our standard 90,000 kerner per bushel equation to figure yields, our 2018 crop tour had an estimated 198.5 bushel yield per acre. The crop was planted in pretty ideal conditions and went in rather quickly once the wet period passed in April. With good spring temperatures, most growers were commenting on the look of the stands after emergence and already the table had been set that we'd see big populations.

Heading into the crop tour this year, we had a good feeling the populations would be higher and thought that seeing a few of the other local tours around with higher populations would confirm we'd see (possibly) record populations. The tour average of 31.7k was 700 ears higher than last year's average but other factors, namely final kernels per bushel count, will keep this crop from surpassing last year's final numbers.

A hot June and July with periods of dry weather really kept the crop from filling out to its potential, as our tour-average ear length was just a bit shorter than the 2016 average (when we had a 236 bpa in Tazewell County). Those extra few kernels could have been enough to push this year's average up above the 205 bushel threshold (at 90,000 kernels).

This year, after talk amongst the tour participants and looking at other tours through central Illinois, we feel a low-80,000 kernel count per bushel seems fitting. When we do that, using an 82k estimate, our adjusted tour average works out to 223.3 bpa, above last year's estimate (which was done in early August), but below the final adjusted yield when we used a mid-70k kernel count (which would have put our final yield around 230-235 bpa).

There were signs of disease amongst the fields, but wasn't very widespread and it was smaller patches that don't appear that they will have a large impact on final yields. We also had discussions amongst tour participants about a few small patches where population estimates were in the 20s which had some impact on the tour estimates. We took over 80 samples, and the low ranged from 21k to a high of 38k, and had 28% of the populations checked in below 30k which definelty kept the tour average below 32k that we've seen locally on other tour averages.


2018 Tremont Coop Crop Tour
  Population Rows Length Yield  
Adwell - South Pekin* 30.4 16.5 35.0 194.1  
Spring Lake 31.9 16.4 35.1 203.7  
Tremont - North 32.5 16.5 33.8 199.9  
Tremont - South* 32.1 17.3 31.9 196.3  
Averages 31.7 16.7 33.9 198.5  



kernel size




90,000 198.5
85,000 210.2
82,000 223.3