Midseason corn field

Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour - Day 3

Get observations and insights from Pioneer agronomists on the tour. Follow hashtag #PFTour20 on Pioneer social channels.

Midwest Crop Tour - Day 3 - Eastern Route

Please note: Summaries are based on observations prior to August 10 storms.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Map for Day 3, Eastern Route, Midwest Crop Tour

Emily Huber, Pioneer Field Agronomist, North Central Illinois

Pioneer Field Agronomist Emily Huber

Crop Conditions Across North Central Illinois - Corn and Soybeans

- Update from Field Agronomist Emily Huber

Variable planting and emergence conditions this year. Early opportunity to start planting the first week of April. Some producers took advantage starting with some soybeans or corn. Unfortunately, we had a freeze event Mother’s Day weekend (May 9) that lead to replant of many first planted soybean fields.

April & May were cooler than normal and we saw variable emergence. Pioneer products looked excellent in these conditions compared to competitors in the challenging environment. The variability at emergence time has stuck with us as we have seen tassels emerge over a longer period of time at pollination and varying ear sizes in fields.

Severe storms came through the west and northern part of the area right near pollination causing some storm damage to fields including green snap, root lodging, and hail damage. Fields with root lodging have pollinated well in most cases, fields with green snap have suffered some pollination issues. Overall pollination has been very good for fields unaffected by the storms. (Review photos below - pollination issue, from green snap above ear). (Review photos below - excellent/good pollination).

Disease has been spreading through corn fields with gray leaf spot and northern being the largest concern. Southern rust and Tar Spot have also begun showing up in fields this year. (See photos below - Tar Spot and Gray Leaf Spot.)

Soybeans have been developing well most have closed 30” rows. Beans planted end of April and early May are beginning to fill pods and have 15-18 main stem nodes. Spring conditions were cool and wet ideal for SDS infection and we are beginning to see that show in soybean fields. This will effect the soybeans ability to finish, it may abort pods and flowers and seed size will be smaller on effected plants. (See photo below - SDS).

Overall fields have grown up to look nice from the field edge but, as summarized, conditions that could hold us back from an excellent crop are variability that has haunted us from this spring, potential disease pressure, and storm damage. Soybean yields still have much to be determined with seed size largely dependent on rains during pod fill.


Photos from North Central Illinois

Photo - Tar Spot on Corn Leaf.

Tar Spot symptoms on corn leaf.

Photo - Corn leaf showing symptoms of Gray Leaf Spot.

Corn leaf showing symptoms of Gray Leaf Spot.

Photo -  - Corn ear showing damage from Greensnap.

Corn ear showing damage from green snap.

Photo - Soybean field showing symptoms of Sudden Death Syndrome.

Soybean field showing symptoms of Sudden Death Syndrome.

Photos - Pollination - North Central Illinois

  • Crop Tour photos - Corn Pollination
  • Crop Tour photos - Corn Pollination

Corn ears showing excellent (left) pollination and good pollination (right).

Eastern Route - Iowa Report

Please note: Summaries are based on observations prior to August 10 storms.

Jim Lafrenz, Pioneer Field Agronomist, Southeast Iowa

Photo - Pioneer Field Agronomist Jim Lafrenz

Crop Conditions - Southeast Iowa

- Update from Field Agronomist Jim Lafrenz


  • Early/timely planting into “just fit” soils.
  • Cool soils stretched corn emergence over 21 days with observed unevenness.
  • Overall acceptable final stands.
  • Warm June and July fueled fast vegetative growth through tassel.
  • Overall successful pollination found with some late pollinators on the butt and ear tip noted.
  • 4 storms events in early July caused variable damage in several SE Iowa counties.
  • Highly variable rainfall during early grain fill.
  • Low/moderate foliar leaf disease pressure – mainly Gray Leaf Spot, Corn Tar Spot just starting.
  • Currently R3 to R4 growth stage.


  • Early/timely planting into “just fit” soils across SE Iowa.
  • Slow emergence and early growth.
  • Good to excellent final soybean stands.
  • Favorable growing conditions in June and July.
  • Minimal insect and disease pressure to date.
  • Overall very good weed control.
  • Good soybean color and uniformity.
  • Highly variable rainfall the last 30 days has many fields needing rainfall soon to finish seed fill.
  • Most soybeans currently R4 to R5 growth stage.

Photos from Southeast Iowa

Photo - Corn Ears at R3/R4 Stages.

Current stages for most corn in SE Iowa.

Photo - Closeup - soybean field - late in the season.

Current stages of soybean development in SE Iowa.


Midwest Crop Tour - Day 3 - Western Route

Please note: Summaries are based on observations prior to August 10 storms.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Map - Western Route - Day 3 - Midwest Crop Tour

Kurt Eischeid, Pioneer Field Agronomist, Southwest Iowa

Photo - Pioneer Field Agronomist Kurt Eischeid


Crop Conditions - Southwest Iowa

- Update from Field Agronomist Kurt Eischeid

In Southwest Iowa we are maturing towards an earlier harvest this year. The majority of the fungicide being applied has finished up and we look to mother nature to see how this crop will finish out. For much of the area we are sitting in dry conditions. Towards the western edge we are experiencing a moderate drought that progressively gets more severe as you move east into the extreme drought conditions. The rains have been sporadic from farm to farm this year and will make it difficult to compare products just miles apart.

In general, we pollinated fairly well. The exceptions are in low fertility situations, high insect pressure areas, and corn on corn acres. We are now seeing kernels abort from the tip of the ear reducing the yield potential in certain areas. With the stability and optimization of our Qrome® products along with our AQUAmax® lineup, products like these are separating themselves from similar hybrids in the stressful conditions.

While disease pressure is relatively low, insect pressure has been high from our moderate winter and dry spring. If you are planning on continuing a corn on corn rotation it is best to scout these fields to determine corn rootworm levels. If adult beetle levels are high it is best to manage them this fall and develop a plan for the spring with your Pioneer Sales Representative.

We continue to monitor and evaluate soybeans. Thus far, I am impressed with the amount of pods despite the trying conditions. August rains will help us determine the final size and yield of our soybean crop. It is an exciting opportunity for us to evaluate the three unique herbicide options in the field. We are evaluating Enlist E3®, LibertyLink®, and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans throughout the countryside to determine the best fit for our growers next year.

For a more localized crop summary and management recommendations please reach out to your nearest Pioneer Sales Representative!



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Logo - AQUAmax

Product performance in water-limited environments is variable and depends on many factors such as the severity and timing of moisture deficiency, heat stress, soil type, management practices and environmental stress as well as disease and pest pressures. All products may exhibit reduced yield under water and heat stress. Individual results may vary.

Logo - Qrome Logo - LibertyLink Logo - RR2 Corn Logo - Agrisure RW
Q (Qrome®) - Contains a single-bag integrated refuge solution for above- and below-ground insects. The major component contains the Agrisure® RW trait, the YieldGard® Corn Borer gene, and the Herculex® XTRA genes. In EPA-designated cotton growing counties, a 20% separate corn borer refuge must be planted with Qrome products. Qrome® products are approved for cultivation in the U.S. and Canada. They have also received approval in a number of importing countries, most recently China. For additional information about the status of regulatory authorizations, visit http://www.biotradestatus.com/
Herculex® Insect Protection technology by Dow AgroSciences and Pioneer Hi-Bred. Herculex® and the HX logo are registered trademarks of Dow AgroSciences LLC. YieldGard®, the YieldGard Corn Borer Design and Roundup Ready® are registered trademarks used under license from Monsanto Company.
Liberty®, LibertyLink® and the Water Droplet Design are trademarks of BASF.
Agrisure® is a registered trademark of, and used under license from, a Syngenta Group Company. Agrisure® technology incorporated into these seeds is commercialized under a license from Syngenta Crop Protection AG.

Logo - LibertyLink

Liberty®, LibertyLink® and the Water Droplet Design are registered trademarks of BASF.

Logo - Enlist E3

The transgenic soybean event in Enlist E3® soybeans is jointly developed and owned by Dow AgroSciences LLC and M.S. Technologies L.L.C.

Logo - RR2 Xtend

Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Technology LLC used under license.