Scouts on the eastern leg of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour saw a more consistent corn crop as they moved northwest from Bloomington towards Iowa on Wednesday.
After seven stops in Illinois’s Woodford, Marshall, Bureau and Henry counties, the average corn yield estimate was 183 bushels per acre. Last year, the area had an average yield just shy of 200 bpa.
Scouts noted the soil became a little sandier in western Bureau County, and yield estimates fell from the 200s to about 145 bpa.
“Today was so much different from the previous day,” said Ohio farmer and scout Bill Bayliss. “It’s more typical of what you would expect from premium northern Illinois crop land.”
Bayliss said crops seen today had adequate moisture through the growing season and should finish without a problem, except for the last field. It showed some nitrogen deficiency and won’t make its yield potential. They still saw signs of wetness at planting, but it was mostly skips. The emergence was much more even than in eastern parts of the state.
Soybeans on Bayliss’s route averaged 1,453 pods in a 3-foot-by-3-foot square, about 200 pods more than scouts estimated in these crop districts last year.
One field had plants affected by SDS and white mold, but Bayliss said the sign indicated it was an early season variety that was close to maturity.
“I’m not sure how much it will affect the yield,” he said. “As we move west, we’re seeing a lot more 30-inch rows. I wonder if some wouldn’t be better with fifteens.”
Corn yields in southwest Iowa are showing the results of late planting and prolonged wet weather. Average yields over 10 stops were measured at 159 bpa compared to last year’s average for that district of 180 bpa.
Soybean yields are slightly better than last year in the area with 1,319 pods in a 3-foot-by-3-foot square compared to 1,166 in 2014; however many of the fields are still actively blooming. Some fields planted in mid- to late-July were very mature and added confusion to the overall picture.
Some areas of Iowa have had 10 to 14 inches of rain over the past 10 days. May and June were wet, but many areas were dried out and needed a rain, said Roger Cervene, a scout and farmer from Stanton, Iowa.
There was evidence of tornado and hail damage from early August apparent in Adams County, northeast of Prescott.
View photo albums of the crop tour here.