ROCHESTER, Minn., Aug 24 (Reuters) - Corn yield potential in Minnesota was up 5.1 percent from a year ago and well above average after timely rains during key growing periods, scouts on annual tour found on Thursday.
But the Farm Journal Midwest Crop tour also found that soybean pod counts in the state were down from 2016 and below the tour's three-year average, with the crop bogged down by cool weather and muddy conditions during early development stages.
Minnesota corn yields were pegged at an average of 191.54 bushels per acre, up from 182.32 bushels per acre in 2016 and the tour's three-year state average of 181.32 bushels per acre.
Soybean pod counts in a 3-by-3 foot area averaged 1,019.96, down from 1,107.60 a year ago and the three-year average of 1,086.12.
The U.S. Agriculture Department has projected Minnesota corn yields at 183.0 bushels per acre. The state is forecast to be the fourth biggest producer of corn and the third biggest producer of soybeans in 2017.
Scouts surveyed 204 soybean fields and 211 corn fields in Minnesota. (Reporting by Mark Weinraub; Editing by Sandra Maler)