Trip Report: Striking Number of Unplanted Fields in Northern Illinois

Posted on 07/09/2019 11:42 AM
Typical corn field in DeKalb, Kane and Kendall Counties. July 5, 2019
July 5, 2019
Typical corn field in DeKalb, Kane and Kendall Counties.

Source: Dr. Michael Cordonnier

Crop Consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier made a short trip through northern Illinois last weekend, traveling through Dekalb, Kane and Kendall counties, and he said he was struck by how many fields had not been planted.They were everywhere, you couldn’t drive a mile down the road without seeing an empty field.  In some places there were no crops planted on both sides of the road,” he reported.

The second thing he was struck by was how late the crops were in their development. He said the tallest corn was maybe thigh-high and the shortest was about at the top of your shoe, with an average corn height of “maybe halfway up to your knees.” Most fields were a few weeks away from closing the rows.

On the plus side, he said plant population appeared normal and the color was good on taller corn. Tassels were no where to be seen.

Cordonnier says soybeans appeared to even farther behind than corn “The tallest soybeans we saw were maybe 4-5 inches tall with the majority of the soybeans 3 to 4 inches tall,” he detailed, adding that there was also “a lot of soybeans just emerging.” He likened the northern Illinois bean crop to double-crop beans. The crop won’t cover rows for another two to three weeks and crop height will remain stunted.   

Typical soybean field in DeKalb, Kane and Kendall Counties.
July 5, 2019
Typical soybean field in DeKalb, Kane and Kendall Counties.

Source: Dr. Michael Cordonnier

Cordonnier did not encounter standing water on his road trip, but he did find a lot of holes in fields for both corn and soybeans.

Delays were more severe than expected, Cordonnier concluded, adding that the corn crop looked OK if it had been June 1 and the bean crop looked like it should be mid-May.

Nevertheless, he made no change to his corn and soybean crop estimates of 12.07 billion bu. and 3.59 billion bu., respectively, this week. He warned that an extended period of heat and dryness would be a major threat for either crop.

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