Home >

Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour - Day 2


Midwest Crop Tour – Day 2 Reports (August 21, 2018)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Follow the Tour on Twitter. (#PFTour18)
Follow the Tour on Facebook.

Eastern Route

Eastern Route Map for Day 2.

Doug Toepper

Doug Toepper

Pioneer Territory


Pioneer Agronomy Report
Eastern Route - Day 2

  • Starts in Westfield, IN.
  • Ends in Bloomington, IL.

Observations from Central to West-Central Illinois


  • Current crop conditions are very good.
  • Most crops planted the last week of April, very fast planting season.
  • Off to a fast start with warm temperatures in May.
  • Divergence with some areas down to 25% - 50% of normal rainfall.


  • Rapid GDU accumulation, peaking at 300 GDU's over the 10-year average.
  • Variation in yield potential due to wide variation in rainfall.
  • Loss of kernel depth and test weight in some areas due to a dry July.
  • Pressure from Gray Leaf Spot.


  • Started flowering early
  • With early flowering taller plant height increases chances for lodging.

Audio UpdatesListen to Local Crop Reports

Doug Toepper - Pioneer Territory Manager



Brad Rademacher - Pioneer Field Agronomist



Photos - Central Illinois

Photo of corn plants affected by Gray Leaf Spot. Photo of healthy corn plants. Photo of corn plants affected by Gray Leaf Spot.

Corn plants affected by Gray Leaf Spot (left, right).  Healthy plants in the middle.


The foregoing is provided for informational use only. Please contact your Pioneer sales professional for information and suggestions specific to your operation. Product performance is variable and depends on many factors such as moisture and heat stress, soil type, management practices and environmental stress as well as disease and pest pressures. Individual results may vary.



Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Follow the Tour on Twitter. (#PFTour18)
Follow the Tour on Facebook.

Western Route

Western Route Map for Day 2.

Trevor Houghton

Trevor Houghton

Pioneer Field


Pioneer Agronomy Report
Western Route - Day 2

  • Starts in Grand Island, NE.
  • Ends in Nebraska City, NE.

Crop Report for Eastern Nebraska


  • Extremely variable crop.


  • Overall pollination is very good; challenges due to lack of rain are:
    • kernel retention
    • grainfill
  • Record cold April, record warm May/June pushed the crop to about 10 days ahead of schedule.
  • Gray Leaf Spot pressure.


  • Minor pressure from Frogeye Leaf Spot; not at treatable levels.
  • Evidence of new disease, Soybean Gall Midge, research needed on crop effects.
  • Soybeans have shown 4 bean pods in many fields, rains will help with fill.

Audio UpdatesListen to Local Crop Reports

Trevor Houghton - Pioneer Field Agronomist



Doran Johnson - Pioneer Field Agronomist



Photos - Southeast Nebraska

Photo of corn plants under drought stress. Photo of corn ears grown under drought stress.

Drought has hit the hard in random areas after very spotty rains this season. These pictures from Richardson County, NE tell the story of how hard fields have been hit similar to the 2012 drought.

Photo showing a healthy soybean plant where rain fell at the right time. Photo comparing corn ears treated and not treated with fungicide.

Other areas show good yield potential where rains have occurred. These soybeans were doing very well in Otoe County, NE. This corn fungicide treatment picture illustrates the yield potential for corn where rains have fallen as well as the return on controlling Gray Leaf Spot which had a strong push this season in Cass County, NE.

Photo showing corn leaf with minimal gray leaf spot damage. Photo showing corn leaf with minimal gray leaf spot damage.

Bacterial Leaf Streak showed up this season in random corn fields across the area, usually those with more rainfall this year and in past years. Goss’s Wilt also appeared across the area in a couple fields. Resistant products should be considered in future years. These samples were taken in an irrigated field in Nemaha County, NE.

Corn - near Springfield, Il.

Soybean Stem Borer continues show up in expanded areas of Southeast Nebraska. Look for single dead, dying petioles, a hole at the base and cut stems to look for larvae. Brock, NE.


The foregoing is provided for informational use only. Please contact your Pioneer sales professional for information and suggestions specific to your operation. Product performance is variable and depends on many factors such as moisture and heat stress, soil type, management practices and environmental stress as well as disease and pest pressures. Individual results may vary.



Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Brian Grete
Brian Grete

Pro Farmer Crop Report

Eastern Route - Day 2
Starts in Westfield, IN, and ends in Bloomington, IL.

My route took me west out of Westfield, Indiana through central and west-central Indiana. In 7 stops in Indiana crop districts 5, 4 & 1 along my route, we had an average corn yield of 181.2 bu. per acre. The range of yields was 163.4 bu. to 222.5 bu. per acre. Every sample was dented. What’s there is there. Late-season rains won’t add to the crop.

Soybean pod counts in a 3’x3’ square in Indiana crop districts 5, 4 & 1 along my route, had an average pod count of 1067.8.

As my route moved into east-central Illinois, corn yields turned more variable. We averaged 174.6 bu. per acre, with a range of 115.4 bu. to 241.8 bu. per acre. Soybean pod counts averaged 1260.8 pods in a 3’ x3’ square, with a range from302.4 to 2824. The fields look really good from the road. The crop is dark green, even and very uniform. But not all of the pod counts are the same once you get into the fields. Soil moisture was up notably from last year.

Final Day 2 observations
The Crop Tour average corn yield of 182.3 bu. per acre is up 6.5% from last year. The number of ears per 60 foot of measured row is the main driver of yield. Grain length we measured on Crop Tour was down from last year, though it was up from the three-year average. Since 2001, the Crop Tour corn yield has come in 2.3 bu. light for Indiana. If you factor in that average “miss,” the Indiana yield would be 184.6 bu. versus USDA’s Aug. 1 yield estimate of 186 bu. per acre.

The soybean pod count of 1311.9 per 3 foot square was up 12.2% from last year’s Crop Tour findings. USDA showed a 7.4% increase in soybean yields compared to year-ago in its August survey. There’s definitely the late-season moisture to finish the crop, as scouts got rained on in eastern Indiana Monday afternoon and western Indiana Tuesday morning. Another key observation: Scouts noted a lot of pods that were filling. Some years we measure a number of pods that are 1/4 inch and flat. This year, we measured more pods that were already filling. The rains during Crop Tour will give the crop the moisture needed to finish strong.

Get more information from Pro Farmer.

Jeff Wilson
Jeff Wilson
Senior Market

Pro Farmer Crop Report

Western Route - Day 2
Starts in Grand Island, NE, and ends in Nebraska City, NE.

Day 2 of the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour finished up Nebraska scouting with positive yield results.

Weather was much improved on second day of the 2018 tour after showers keep fields muddy yesterday. We started with sunny skies, light winds from the northwest and a pleasant low 70-degree temperatures by late morning.

Over the past two days we collected 301 corn and 296 soybean samples—hats off to our crop scouts from across the nation and four foreign countries.

My read on the Nebraska corn and soybean crops is that USDA did a good job identifying improving yields across the state from a year earlier. Irrigated corn yields are strong and even much of the dryland corn is coming in above a year ago, outside of the southeast where dry weather has taken a toll on yield potential. Hail and wind has hurt fields across the state but the good outweighs much of the problems in the big picture.

Our samples show an average corn yield of 179.2 bushels an acre, up 8.3% from a year ago. USDA said yields would rise 8.3% to 196 bu. The difference is that we measure a third LESS of the irrigated fields in the state. About 60% of the corn is grown under irrigation and only 43% of the corn samples were from irrigated fields. Historically, the tour is about 15 bu/acre less than USDA. So, the percentage changes are the same and match up well.

One difference to keep in mind is that last year’s crop continues to grow by the final USDA number. Our number is showing a smaller gain. I asked the audience at the meeting tonight in Nebraska City if they expected heavier kernels than a year ago when there was a long grain fill period. About 5% said yes and a third said now and the rest didn’t answer. That is an indication that they don’t expect the crop to get bigger and may get smaller because of the kernel/ear weighs.

Remember, USDA said corn in dent stage of development rose to 38% as of this week, up from 25% on average the past five years. Fields I measured were approaching 60% or more in dent. The crop is rapidly heading for maturity, unlike a year ago when it had a long time to add sugars and starch and build big kernels. A fast maturing crop is never good for adding yields at the end of the season.

There is no shortage of evidence the crop will be larger. The ear population is up 1.8% from a year ago, the length of grain on each ear measured average 4.1% more and the number of kernels around each ear gain 1.9%. Both grain length and kernel rows suggest the heat at pollination had little impact. The factory is in place for big yields.

The soybean story is also about improving production despite some weather adversity. In fact, the heat in June pushed soybeans hard and fast through early development to the point where plants were already putting on pods in early July. There are few blooms to build any more yield but there is plenty of moisture to fill pods with large beans.

We measured almost 1,300 pods on average in a 3-foot by 3-foot area. That’s up 14.9% from last year’s tour. Evidently, USDA field surveys also found the same story as government said earlier this month yields in Nebraska would rise 6.1% to a record 61 bushels.

Get more information from Pro Farmer.


How Midwest Crop Tour Scouts Gather Data


The Midwest Crop Tour dates to 1987. Pro Farmer was an original participant, then agreed to take over as its organizer in 1993 and began publishing the Crop Tour’s results as a service to the agricultural community at large. Crop Tour helps “level the playing field” by providing all market participants with access to information, unlike the many ongoing private assessments of Midwest crops.

In 2000, Crop Tour was expanded to its current scale. Crop Tour supporters like DuPont Pioneer enable Crop Tour to survey a large geographic area, host daily grower meetings, and provide more extensive media coverage of the Crop Tour findings.

Conducted the third full week of August each year, Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour is the most widely followed “field survey” for corn and soybeans during the critical crop development period that happens in between USDA’s August and September crop surveys.


More than 100 “scouts” (farmers, media, agribusiness, and Pro Farmer staff) are organized into teams that fan across 20 pre-determined Midwest routes Monday through Thursday. Scout teams travel in vehicles which prominently display “Midwest Crop Tour” decals. In addition, each scout wears Crop Tour logo apparel so that all Crop Tour participants are readily identifiable by farmers and landowners.

The “Eastern leg” begins sampling in western Ohio, working its way across Indiana, Illinois, eastern Iowa and then southern Minnesota. The “Western leg” begins in southern South Dakota, then across eastern Nebraska, western Iowa and into southern Minnesota. Both sides of the Tour conclude in Rochester, Minn., on Thursday night.

Scouts attend a training session prior to Crop Tour and each team of about 2 to 4 people includes at least 1 experienced scout. The assigned routes that the scout teams travel have been consistent over the years to assure comparability.

Crop scouts walk fields in seven states during the Crop Tour.

DuPont Pioneer agronomists and more than 100 volunteer crop scouts will tabulate measurements taken from corn and soybean fields during the 4-day crop tour.

Field Selection

Teams pull onto rural side roads every 15-20 miles from their primary route and stop at survey locations that meet the following criteria:

Crop Sampling and Data
Crop Tour sampling and measurements are designed to get representative results for crop districts, states, and the entire Midwest – not individual fields or counties.

  • Safe parking available on a wide shoulder or field driveway
  • Accessible corn/soybean fields that are not fenced or posted
  • No structures such as homes, machine sheds, grain bins, or livestock buildings
  • Scouts measure 3 ears of corn or count pods on 3 soybean plants from just 1 location in each field surveyed. Each sample is identified by county so it can be tabulated by crop district, but is not associated with a specific field or farm location. Care is taken to move in and out of each field quickly, without damage.
Corn grain length and girth are measured during the Crop Tour.

Several measurements such as grain length and girth of corn ears are taken to estimate corn yields.



You May Also Like

Reports from: