* Yield potential better but drought stressing crop
* Crop tour moves into Iowa later Wednesday
By Karl Plume
CANTON, Ill., July 25 The corn crop in two
counties in central Illinois showed yield potential better than
last year despite the worst drought in decades in the U.S.
Midwest, scouts on a crop tour reported on Wednesday.
It was the first time since the tour began in Ohio on Monday
that scouts had come across fields where the yields were above
those of a year ago.
In Logan County, corn yields were estimated at 197.9 bushels
per acre, above last year's 173.4 bpa. In Sangamon County, the
yield was an estimated 171.1 bpa, compared with 165.7 bpa last
year, the tour found.
In neighboring Menard County, however, the yield was an
estimated 132.8 bpa, down from last year's 168.4 bpa.
Illinois in the No. 2 corn growing state behind Iowa.
Scouts saw plants as tall as 9 feet (2.7 metres) in Logan
County, and 6 to 7 feet high in Sangamon. The crops were planted
early and likely escaped the high heat.
But the crops were beginning to show the typical signs of
drought stress -- curled leaves and kernels not reaching the tip
of the ears, known in industry parlance as "tip back."
The five-day MDA EarthSat crop tour moves into Iowa later on
Wednesday, stopping overnight in Iowa City, before ending on
Friday in Nebraska.
Chicago Board of Trade corn futures jumped more than 1
percent on worries that the most extensive U.S. drought since
1956 will reduce production. But prices remained below the
record peak of $8.28-3/4 per bushel set last week.
(Reporting by Karl Plume, writing by K.T. Arasu; Editing by