We're following the progress of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour with Pioneer agronomists Darren Goebel and Jeff Mueller. Check back each morning for a recap of the previous day's happenings, and for links to audio and photos from the agronomists.
Aug. 22 Recap
DuPont Pioneer Agronomy Report - Scott Nelson
Eastern Route - Day 3
Starts in Bloomington, Ill., and ends in Iowa City, Iowa
Reporting from Central Iowa
- Corn in the area is at 10-50% milkline. Soybeans are at the R5-R6 growth stage, depending on planting date and variety. Recent rains and lower temperatures are adding some test weight to corn and yield potential to soybeans.
- Yield Estimates: 75-175 bu./acre for corn, the most variable I've seen in my lifetime. Soybeans will likely yield 30-50 bu./acre.
- Ear size is very variable. Growers should watch their concave settings so smaller ears aren't lost when harvesting.
- Some reports of corn being rejected due to aflatoxin levels.
DuPont Pioneer Agronomy Report - Nick Hanson
Western Route - Day 3
Starts in Nebraska City, Neb., and ends in Spencer, Iowa
Reporting from O'Brien County in northwest Iowa
- Overall, cornfields scouted today look fairly good compared to other fields in the area. There have been record levels of spider mites in corn and a fair amount of corn aphids this year.
- Most scouted cornfields are 3/4 to 1/2 milkline stage. Fields are progressing rapidly to black layer due to the weather.
- Some cornfields already have firing in the lower stalks so growers should monitor fields for stalk lodging and harvest early if needed.
- Overall soybeans look good, fields planted early are starting to turn and mature.
Aug. 21 Recap
DuPont Pioneer Agronomy Report - Jeff Wessel
Eastern Route - Day 2
Starts in Fishers, Ind., and ends in Bloomington, Ill.
Crop Conditions for McLean and Tazewell counties in central Illinois
- Some cornfields started showing severe drought stress starting at the end of June and conditions haven't improved since then.
- Cornfields that I've looked at will probably yield between 50 and 180 bu./acre, with many averaging 100 bu./acre.
- Corn I've looked at is in the R5 stage, with some fields at least half way or further through the R5 stage. The crop isn't too far from being mature.
- In soybeans, the canopy remains in fantastic shape. Reasons why: beans were planted into excellent conditions and planted early, enabling soybeans to be pretty well rooted.
- Most soybean fields will likely yield between 35 and 70+ bu./acre (in a few instances).
DuPont Pioneer Agronomy Report - Chris Woerner
Western Route - Day 2
Starts in Grand Island, Neb., and ends in Nebraska City, Neb.
Nemaha & Otoe counties in southeast Nebraska
- Scouted an irrigated white cornfield and ears are pretty well filled out and yield will be good.
- Dryland acres look very tough in southeast Nebraska and yield will be variable. Scouted one white cornfield that will likely yield 50-60 bu./acre. Another field with a different soil type, different planting date but same white corn hybrid will probably yield 120 bu./acre.
- Disease pressure fairly light, seeing a little Southern corn rust and gray leaf spot (later in the season). Goss's wilt is not spreading much this year. In dryland corn, ear molds are showing up, especially Aspergillus ear rot, which has the potential to develop aflatoxins.
- Insects: Heavy earworm pressure, especially in later-planted fields; virtually no European corn borer and isolated cases of corn rootworm in some areas.
- Scouted fields of mostly Late Group 3 varieties and these plants have good pod set. Very few pods on the bottom 1/3 of the plant but overall these plants have decent pod sets. What happens to the top 1/3 of the plant will make the yield difference but these soybeans need rain in the next one to two weeks.
- Insect pressure: bean leaf beetles are hit and miss, seeing a few stink bugs
- Diseases: Phytophthora & fusarium showed up after mid-June rains. Late-season phytophthora, fusarium and charcoal rot showing up. Some SDS showing up late.
Aug. 20 Recap
DuPont Pioneer Agronomy Report - Darren Goebel
Eastern Route - Day 1
Starts in Columbus, Ohio, and ends in Fishers, Ind.
- Scouting cornfields today in the Greenfield area (outside Indianapolis), our lowest estimate for corn is 28 bu./acre. However, we’re mostly seeing 120-140 bu. One soybean field we scouted should average 55-65 bu./acre.
- Princeton, Evansville and Vincennes have experienced some of the worst drought conditions in Indiana. Some farmers who are already harvesting corn are reporting 18-60 bu./acre. Many fields were planted on time but pollination occurred when temperatures soared to 100-105° F.
- We’re seeing fertility issues – potassium and nitrogen deficiencies. Causes: roots did not get established plus nutrients were no longer available in the soil.
- There is some bean leaf beetle feeding in soybeans and gray leaf spot showing up in some corn.
- Overall, in some areas soybeans may outyield corn.
DuPont Pioneer Agronomy Report - Jeff Mueller
Western Route - Day 1
Starts in Sioux Falls, S.D., and ends in Grand Island, Neb.
Crop conditions near Grand Island, Neb.:
· Irrigated fields or areas with sufficient rain will have good yields.
· Fields with limited irrigation or insufficient moisture have some tip back of kernels.
· Dryland acres will likely yield 5-15 bu./acre.
Irrigated fields will likely yield 60-70 bu./acre.
Fields with limited irrigation will likely yield 30-45 bu./acre.
Dryland acres will yield very little.
Corn Maturity: early-planted corn is two to three days away from black layer, other cornfields are not yet at milk line.
Spider mites are a problem in corn, also seeing this insect pressure in soybeans.
Potential Concerns: Aflatoxin in corn. Fields with moisture stress or hail damage may have stalk quality problems and require harvesting a little earlier.