Midseason corn field

Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour - Day 1

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

Midwest Crop Tour - Day 1 - Eastern Route

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

Monday, August 17, 2020

Map - Day 1 Crop Tour Eastern Route

Kyle Poling, Pioneer Field Agronomist, West Central Ohio

Photo - Pioneer Field Agronomist Kyle Pohling

Crop Conditions Across West Central Ohio

- Update from Field Agronomist Kyle Pohling

Corn and Soybeans

  • Cool soil temperatures and slow drying soils were predominate during the early planting window. These conditions in early May kept corn planting at a slow pace in many areas with some growers waiting for a warming forecast. Soybean planting progress was comparable to corn during the early planting window.
  • Heavy storms were widespread during the middle of May halted planting progress. Large rainfall amounts resulted in a need for a large number of corn replant acres.
  • Planting wrapped up in the middle of June as the area experienced a warm, dry stretch. However, there were pockets where delayed planting resulted in corn fields that were left as “prevent plant acres”
  • Unseasonably hot, dry weather caused many fields to dry-out in the seed zone sometimes resulting in erratic emergence or reduced stands.
  • Fit field conditions allowed weed control application, side-dress N, wheat harvest, and other field work to take place with little interruption after planting complete.
  • Dry conditions have kept foliar disease in corn and soybeans at low levels but have resulted in high populations of Corn Rootworm Beetles, Japanese Beetles, and some spider mite pressure where soybeans were under extreme drought stress.
  • Timely rains and cooler growing conditions in early grain-fill will minimize kernel tip abortion in corn and lower flower/pod abortion in soybeans.

Midwest Crop Tour - Day 1 - Western Route

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

Monday, August 17, 2020

Map - Day 1 Crop Tour Western Route

Curt Hoffbeck, Pioneer Field Agronomist, Southeast South Dakota

Photo - Curt Hoffbeck

Crop Conditions Across SE South Dakota - Corn and Soybeans

- Update from Field Agronomist Curt Hoffbeck

This year’s crop started off well getting most all acres planted and with some late April and early May planting dates into a good seed-bed. Conditions quickly changed the 1st two weeks in May with very cold conditions that greatly slowed down germination and emergence. Corn stands were still adequate with most fields losing 1-3K of plants per acre on average.

We expect a decent crop. However, most of the area was hot and dry during pollination, so expect some ear and yield variability across fields. Some fields look excellent while others may have some considerable tip-back on the ears and some scattered pollination. We expect dry conditions to continue throughout most of August and grain-fill so additional yield loss may occur due to more ear tip-back and shallower kernel depth.

With the drier conditions, leaf diseases have been very light on most dryland acres with a little Gray Leaf Spot present. Corn rootworm pressure is significantly higher than previous years in my area. Spider mites and soybean aphids are starting to enter soybean fields now and some spider mites and corn leaf aphids in corn as well.

Red-headed flea beetles were also present in corn fields and are also one of the primary defoliators in soybean fields this year. So far white mold pressure remains low across my area due to the drier conditions.

General Notes:

  • Irrigated corn and soybean acres look very well for yield potential across my area.
  • GDU’s are near normal and corn and soybean growth/development seems to be well ahead of the pace based on the calendar date.
  • Areas near Viborg, Irene, Yankton, Gayville, and Volin experienced some significant hail and/or wind damage to the crops during the growing season.

Photos From SE South Dakota

Photo - Mature corn ears - 12 ears

Photo - Mature corn ears - 9 ears

Photo - Closeup of corn leaf.

Western Route - Nebraska Report

Kevin Kowalski, Pioneer Field Agronomist, Northeast Nebraska

Photo - Pioneer Field Agronomist Kevin Kowalski

Crop Conditions Across NE Nebraska

- Update from Field Agronomist Kevin Kowalski


The corn crop is moving along staying just ahead of the 30 year GDU average in most areas. Corn is in the dough to early dent stage.

  • Seeing moderate pressure of diseases on corn (Grey Leaf Spot and Southern Rust).
  • Seeing very good plant health where Aproach Prima was applied as a fungicide post tassel.
  • Heavier pressure of corn rootworm this year that could limit some top end yield in a few fields.
  • East of highway 81 we missed the rains and there are quite a few stressed dryland acres. AQUAmax products are really shining in the drought areas of Northeast Nebraska.
  • Overall very positive yields for irrigated acres and dryland yields look to be average.


Soybeans started slow and were slow to canopy. Some weed escapes in the fields are starting to show up and using a good Pre with a residual followed by a Post with residual will be key for weed control going forward into next year with any cropping system.

  • Gall Midge is apparent in more fields this year especially on the field edges.
  • Soybeans look very strong with some diseases showing up. Diseases to watch for: Diaporthe Complex, Sudden Death and spots of White Mold.
  • Crop is in beginning seed to full seed depending on maturity (R5-R6).


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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.