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Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour - Day 3


Midwest Crop Tour – Day 3 Reports (August 22, 2018)

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

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Eastern Route

Eastern Route Map for Day 3.

Eric Zumbach

Eric Zumbach

Pioneer Field


Pioneer Agronomy Report
Eastern Route - Day 3

  • Starts in Bloomington, IL.
  • Ends in Iowa City, IA.

Crop Observations for Eastern Iowa


  • Quite a bit of variablity from north to south due to uneven rainfall.
  • Pretty wide open planting window; 90% crops in the ground by May 10 for corn and soybeans.
  • Effects from shorter rainfall especially seen south of I-80.


  • Respectable yields anticipated.
  • April-planted corn about 400 GDU's above the 30-year average.
  • With late April planting most corn should be at black layer by the end of August.
  • Pressure from Gray Leaf Spot.
  • Issues seen include nitrogen deficiency, drought, some areas of compaction.
  • Anticipating range of 166 - 316 bu. acre yields. 


Audio UpdateListen to Crop Reports from Eastern Iowa - Which products are doing well?

Eric Zumbach - Pioneer Field Agronomist





Photos - East-Central Iowa

Potential for 282 bu/acre corn in Benton County, Iowa. Potential for 264 bu/acre corn in Poweshiek County, Iowa.

Potential for 260+ bu/acre corn in Benton and Poweshiek counties, Iowa.

Gray leaf spot on corn leaves.

Corn leaves from an Iowa field showing Gray Leaf Spot symptoms.

Healthy soybeans showing good yield potential, Iowa. Healthy soybeans showing good yield potential, Iowa County, Iowa.

Soybean plants showing good yield potential, Iowa County, Iowa.

Soybean leaf showing Frogeye Leaf Spot.

Soybean leaf showing symptoms of Frogeye Leaf Spot, Benton County, Iowa.


Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Soybeans Glyphosate Tolerant

DO NOT APPLY DICAMBA HERBICIDE IN-CROP TO SOYBEANS WITH Roundup Ready 2 Xtend technology unless you use a dicamba herbicide product that is specifically labeled for that use in the location where you intend to make the application. IT IS A VIOLATION OF FEDERAL AND STATE LAW TO MAKE AN IN-CROP APPLICATION OF ANY DICAMBA HERBICIDE PRODUCT ON SOYBEANS WITH Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® technology, OR ANY OTHER PESTICIDE APPLICATION, UNLESS THE PRODUCT LABELING SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZES THE USE. Contact the U.S. EPA and your state pesticide regulatory agency with any questions about the approval status of dicamba herbicide products for in-crop use with soybeans with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® technology.
ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Soybeans with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® technology contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate and dicamba. Glyphosate herbicides will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Dicamba will kill crops that are not tolerant to dicamba.
Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® is a trademark of Monsanto Technology LLC used under license.
Pioneer is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Pioneer products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance and in compliance with the Pioneer policies regarding stewardship of those products. Crops and materials containing biotech traits may only be exported to or used, processed, or sold in jurisdictions where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted for those crops and materials. It is a violation of national and international laws to move materials containing biotech traits across borders into jurisdictions where their import is not permitted. Growers should discuss these issues with their purchaser or grain handler to confirm the purchaser or handler's position on products being purchased. For further information on the approval status of biotech traits, please visit Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Excellence Through Stewardship.

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.



Wednesday, August 22, 2018

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Western Route

Western Route Map for Day 3.

Nick Hanson

Nick Hanson

Pioneer Field


Pioneer Agronomy Report
Western Route - Day 3

  • Starts in Nebraska City, NE.
  • Ends in Spencer, IA.

Crop Observations for Northwest Iowa


  • Highly variable crop conditions.  Some areas down to brownout spots & some will see very good yields.
  • Extremely wet start to the season.
  • A lot of areas still dealing with effects from 10 inches or move above normal rainfall.

Crop Conditions - Corn

  • Most planting delayed to the very end of May.
  • Heat after May has allowed corn to get 200 - 250 GDU's ahead of normal.
  • Most fields in dough to early dent stage.
    • Black layer expected mid-late Sept. for crops planted late May.
  • Fairly light disease pressure, mostly from Physoderma Brown Spot, occasionally Gray Leaf Spot.

Crop Conditions - Soybeans

AudioListen to Crop Reports from Northwest Iowa - Which products are doing well?

Nick Hanson - Pioneer Field Agronomist





Photos - Northwest Iowa

Corn leaf showing nitrogen deficiency. Corn plants showing nitrogen deficiency.

Corn showing nitrogen deficiency. The picture was taken near Webb, Iowa but is commonly occurring throughout NW Iowa this year due to the excessive rainfall experienced in mid-June.

Corn root with a compaction layer 2 to 3 inches deep.

Corn root with a compaction layer 2 to 3 inches deep where the field cultivator sweep ran. Photo taken near Hull, Iowa, but is a very common occurrence in NW Iowa.


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.



Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Brian Grete
Brian Grete

Pro Farmer Crop Report

Eastern Route - Day 3
Starts in Bloomington, IL, and ends in Iowa City, IA.

My route took me west out of Bloomington and then north through crop districts 4, 3 and 1 in central and west-central Illinois. If we are going to get to USDA’s 207 bu. per acre yield estimated in August, we needed to see some REALLY good corn today. What we saw was good corn, it just wasn’t as good as frankly it needed to be to get us to where USDA had the state’s crop pegged in August. The average corn yield from our 10 samples along my route was 202.2 bu. per acre, with a range of 161.2 bu. to 237.9 bu. per acre. When all of the samples from Illinois were tabulated, the average yield came in at 192.6 bu. per acre. While that was up 6.6% from what we found in Illinois last year, it was a far cry from the 207 bu. USDA estimated in August. Even if you factor in the average “miss” for Illinois by Crop Tour of 1.1 bu. per acre, the yield would be well short of USDA’s initial estimate. As was the case in Ohio and Indiana, ear counts were up notably from year-ago. But grain length in Illinois was down from our sample data last year.

The average soybean pod count in a 3’ x 3’ square from my route was 1584.9, with a range of 943.2 to 3521. The final pod count for Illinois from all Crop Tour samples was 1328.9, up 8.0% from last year. As was the case in Ohio and Indiana, Illinois’ pod count was up significantly from last year. Not only is the eastern Corn Belt’s soybean crop clean, lush and healthy, there are a lot of pods. Plus, much of the state’s crop has the moisture needed to finish.

As my route transitioned into eastern Iowa, corn yields increased in crop district six. Our five samples averaged 230.5 bu. per acre. However, soybean pod counts declined to an average of 1266.4 along our route. That’s still a good number of pods, just not as many as we found in central and west-central Illinois.

Final Day 3 observations
Illinois has a very good corn crop. But I don’t think it’s as good as USDA estimated in August. The Ohio corn crop was more impressive to me than Illinois’ crop. That doesn’t mean Ohio will out-yield Illinois on corn, because it won’t. But compared to normal, Ohio has the better corn crop this year. Ear counts in Illinois were high, but there was some tipback on many of the samples that robbed yield from what it could be in Illinois – signs of heat and moisture stress in some areas of the states. The fields we sampled were very much advanced in maturity, meaning there’s very limited ability for the crop to add into the finish. In fact, the biggest challenge will be for the crop to hold onto the yield that we calculated. Any heavy late-season rains or wind would be detrimental.

Soybean pod counts continue to push well above year-ago levels. High pod counts and ample soil moisture point to a bigger soybean yield than USDA estimated in August. There’s no doubt there is a bigger soybean yield “factory” this year, not only in Illinois, but also in Indiana and Ohio.

Get more information from Pro Farmer.

Jeff Wilson
Jeff Wilson
Senior Market

Pro Farmer Crop Report

Western Route - Day 3
Starts in Nebraska City, NE, and ends in Spencer, IA.

We are done with the western third of Iowa and will get the full state detail on Thursday in Rochester.

Another beautiful day to collect samples on @PFTOUR18 across the biggest corn growing state. But the story may be soybeans this year in Iowa.

Soybean pod counts in district 7 in the southwest area of the state were measure 27% larger than a year ago at 1,445 pods in a 3’ X 3’ area, compared with 1,134 pods last year. The three-year average was 1,179 pods. WOW!

Soybeans like tough conditions, albeit at the right time. They like to be stressed from warm dry weather and then get timely rain. That seems to be exactly the combination they enjoyed this year while drought rage just to the south in Kansas and Missouri.

Soybean pods counts were also up 8.7% in west-central Iowa district 4, and 9.7% in northwestern crop district 1. Both impressive jumps despite more rain or even too much rain further to the north. Like soybeans in Nebraska and South Dakota, the crops across western Iowa will not get any bigger than we measured because of the advancing maturity will limit the ability of plant to add to blooms, something that August rains have done the past three years.

I did not see the jump in pod counts in district 1 where I surveyed crops. In fact, I measured about 100 fewer pods than a year ago across that northern district. The higher soybean counts do not mean bigger yields in areas that have fought the heavy rains this year. Two reasons: First we advise scouts to pick a spot in fields that best represents the average soybean plant in the fields measure. That means we don’t go randomly into the field, which might lead to a zero record in our survey. There are plenty of drowned out areas, small ponds and even some new lakefront ground in the northern district. Those lost acres may result in either a cut in harvested acres or a lower yield to compensate for drowned-out production.

The best beans measured continue to be fields that have lower plant populations and plants that have not wasted energy building vegetative mass and instead put more pods at nodes that are closer together.

On the corn in the three western districts you have to say it was measured at a higher yield than expected in the north and south. Surprisingly, ear counts in all three districts were down from a year ago as weather hurt the crops. The average length of grain and the number of kernels rows were both up to compensate for the lost ear counts. Grain length and kernel weights could still lose some ground going forward from dry weather and standing water in fields. Stands weakened by excessive rains this year may not stall tall into the harvesting season.

In district 1, average yields measured 186.9 bu. per acre, up 4.6% from last year, up 4.1% in center-west and down 3.1% in the south. It will be interesting see how the rest of the state stacks up when the eastern leg finishes up on Thursday.

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.




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