Today’s route in Indiana went north from Indy on US 31 then went Weston US 24 and crossed over into Illinois south of Kankakee about 40 miles. We went north from there to just west of Kankakee and then angled back to the hotel at Bloomington IL. Today’s contestants included Steve Mathews from New York City, Fabio Carniero from Brazil and Libin Zhou from Chicago originally from China. This was another route I’d probably been on at some point although honestly they’re all starting to run together. This group really clicked today and everyone’s head was in the game start to finish.
We saw some good corn to finish out the IN sampling. The high on our route in IN was 215 bu./acre in Benton Co. Ironically the low was right next door in Jasper Co. at 95 bu./acre in Boone Co. The overall average for our route in IN was 166 bu./acre. Finally saw some corn starting to dent and generally today the maturity of the corn was better than what we saw yesterday in eastern IN or OH. There were still plenty of stir fry type ears to look at that had just pollinated however. The crop health in general seemed to be pretty good with some areas showing N deficiency on the lower leaves. We did have one field with very noticeable physoderma brown spot not only on the leaves but on the stalk as well. As mentioned yesterday, this disease bears some watching prior to harvest.
Our soybean sampling on the IN portion of our route today was more of the same from yesterday. We saw 3x3 pod counts disappointing with an overall respectable average. The high in IN for our route was 1918 in Jasper Co. with a low of 85 in Miami Co. The latter was likely a double crop field. One insect discovery of note was in White Co. where the scouts brought back a soybean plant that was loaded with soybean aphids from a field that was infested. That is also something to keep an eye on. With many of these plants still in R4 maturity they may become aphid candy if one doesn’t keep an eye on them.
On the IL portion of our sampling we saw the best corn of our trip thus far in IL at 220 bu./acre in Livingston Co. Our low in IL was 137 in Iroquois Co. The average for our route in IL was 174 bu./acre. Generally speaking the corn yields kept coming up slightly as we moved west.
Likewise with the soybeans. The crop measured on our route in IL was the poorest in memory from my 16 years on the Crop Tour. The high for the 3’x3’ pod count was a lackluster 1063 in Livingston Co. The low was a dismal 532. The overall average was 831. Yes, there is an opportunity for the plants to add additional pods and some welcome rains will need to continue. A good finish will be required for the soybean crop to be considered anything more than a disappointment.
One welcome rain blew through on our route just before lunch so we stopped to eat in Gilman IL at a place called the Front Porch. From the outside it looked pretty inconspicuous. Once inside we discovered it smelled like scented candles, was also a craft store and was packed with women. Needless to say we were uncomfortable at first until all the ladies suddenly got up, paid their bills and left. Chances are we probably didn’t smell like scented candles after walking in mud all forenoon if my hotel room at night has been any indication. They served us anyway and the food was delicious.
On tomorrow to finish the western side of IL to see if the crop will continue to improve. Stay tuned…