From The Rows August 24 - Emily Carolan (East & West)

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From the Data Bunker- Day 3

We wrapped up day three in western Iowa and western Illinois today as scouts made their way to Spencer, IA and Iowa City, IA. Tonight we released yields for all of Illinois and the crop districts in western Iowa of 1, 4, and 7. As the week goes on, I am finding it harder to believe a huge yield is out there. A large corn crop needs to come from somewhere and right now it’s hard to find just where the ‘garden spot’ might be.

The yield released for Illinois was 190.71, which is down 2.8% from last year but still up 2.7% from the 3-year average. The one area where we always seem to lose yield from is ear count, but in Illinois this year, that’s not the case. Ear counts were up 1.1% from last year and 3.7% from the 3-year average. It means if ears are there, and we finish strong, Illinois can be one of the ‘big bushel piles’ we normally have. We ask scouts to take a look at the plant health, even though it doesn’t contribute to the yield equation. Illinois seems to have the highest number of ‘very healthy’ to ‘mostly healthy’ compared to other states we have been through.

The bean pod counts in Illinois was down compared to last year but still better than the 3-year average, just like corn. We found a pod count in 3x3 sq. ft of 1,249.7, where last year we were around 1280 pods. The thing this bean crop has that last year’s was struggling to find is moisture. One more shot of rain and it will help the Illinois bean crop and help fill pods.

The western Iowa corn crop can be summed up one way- it’s impressive because the scouts have been through really tough fields in South Dakota and dryland Nebraska. But after you get done with a route and average your stops, it seems your average shouldn’t be that low. Brad Nelson, scout from south central Minnesota, said normally we should be finding samples 200-220 plus in NW Iowa and today his route didn’t find 1 over 200 bu./acre. I think a lot of the stress the western Iowa crop experienced came in later than what SD & NE experienced, but it’s showing up in a lack of grain length, because of the timing of when the stress started to hit. In early June the western IA crop had a lot of potential, even given the late planting. Stress after V12 and during late vegetative stages is showing up in tip backed ears, and it’s not because of over-population (like we see some years). The crop districts yields for the districts toured today were: 181.12 bu./acre in district 1, district 4 was 180.8 bu./acre, and district 7 was 173.70 bu./acre. All districts were down compared to last year and down from their 3-year averages. It doesn’t sound like western Iowa has one of the big piles we talked about earlier, either.

The beans in Iowa were surprisingly better than what we found last year, except for district 7. The drought monitor showed signs of stressful conditions in southern Iowa earlier than the northern districts. SDS (sudden death syndrome) was one noticeable disease as scouts went through western Iowa. It would make sense for it to start to show up here given the wetter June compared to west of the Missouri River. SDS splashes on to plants at an early vegetative stage but doesn’t show up until now. It can take over given the right environment- it spreads easier in cool, wet environments so it can potentially be slowed by the weather we get as we close out August.

As we enter NE Iowa and Minnesota tomorrow, we expect to potentially find the garden spot in the Midwest in SE Minnesota, if Tar Spot doesn’t grab the yield first!

Tomorrow we’ll wrap up the two remaining states and talk through overall Midwest opportunity.


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