From the Rows: Day Three—Jeff Wilson
Home stretch. The western leg of the 2019 Pro Farmer crop tour wrapped up the western half of Iowa today and moves into Minnesota on Thursday. We will have complete Iowa and Minnesota state results tomorrow night when we converge with the Eastern leg of the tour in Rochester, Minn.
We measured corn in the northwestern district at 184.9 bu., down 1.1% from last year with West central seen up 3.2% and southeastern strict up 3.6%. All three districts were up from the prior three-year average. We measured corn that ranged from 75 bu. to 255 bu. The range is large and reflects in part the delayed planting this year
The story for western Iowa is good corn and soybean crop potential but issues remain with immature crops, some building disease issues and some bug pressures. Much of in this region were planted during three distinct periods. April 21 to May 2, May 14- May 16 and the first week of June. Earliest corn needs 22 days to reach maturity, Mid-May planted corn will need 30 to 40 days to reach black layer and the later planted corn may need 56 days to be safe from freezing temperatures. The maturity issue has been overlooked because many fields have gr0wn out of much of the slow growth experienced earlier this year. Soybeans are also fighting the clock to reach maturity before this year’s crops maturity
Soybeans and corn both need some sustained warm weather and not cold evenings mixed into the weather outlook. There are fields that may look good from the road but this year’s extremely wet start to the season. Solar radiation may prove to be the key to crops reaching maturity.
Fungicide applications have slowed, and earlier protection is reaching the point of diminishing returned. Some of the diseases are starting to return including grey leaf spot and leaf blight. Low prices may reduce new fungicide treatments despite the large 20% potential cut in corn yields.
Turning to the soybean crop, we measured 1.3 more pods in a three-foot square in district 1, the northwest region of Iowa. However, Region 4 may drop 5.1% and the seventh district soybean pods fell 3.6% to 1,221 pods. The wide range of tour measurements, 137 to 3, 315 pods, does suggest planting delays are real and yield potential probably peaked, Heavy rains recently left some fields too wet and that means more disease pressures could build.
Beans are late in Iowa and there will likely be little harvested before early October. Soy aphids are on the rise and thistle caterpillars may be a larger threat to final yields.
We are off to measure late crops and have another look at large tracts of land designated as prevent-plant in Minnesota on Thursday. Stay tuned for our full report on Iowa and Minnesota crops tomorrow night and the Pro Farmer U.S. corn and soybean crop forecasts at 1:30 p.m. CDT.