Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour - 2021 | Day 2 | Pioneer® Seeds
Soybean field - closeup - midseason

Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour - Day 2

Get observations and insights from Pioneer agronomists on the tour. Follow hashtag #PFTour21 on Pioneer social channels.

Eastern Route - Midwest Crop Tour

Day 2 - Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Map - Eastern Route - Day 2 - Midwest Crop Tour
  • Begins in Noblesville, Indiana.
  • Ends in Bloomington, Illinois.
  • Review Day 1.




Tour Leader - Mike Navarrete, Pioneer Field Agronomist, Central Illinois

Photo - Mike Navarette - Pioneer Field Agronomist
  • The planting period went very smoothly this year, ranging from April 2nd, to June 4th for single crop, and up to July 10th for double crop soybeans after wheat harvest.
  • On June 25th, a 10” rain inundated the area, significantly hampering many fields.
  • Fortunately, many fields were able to recover, but there were many low-lying areas in fields that were not able to come back from the downpour.
  • Find more updates & photos.


Crop Conditions Across Central Illinois

- Update from Mike Navarrete


  • Pioneer® brand corn looks incredible in the countryside, with introductory hybrids on both Pioneer Optimum® AcreMax® and Pioneer Qrome® Products looking exceptional.
  • Most fields have surpassed R2 and many early planted fields are nearing R5, or dent.
  • Disease pressure has been significant this year, with the vast majority of farmers protecting their crops by spraying a fungicide, protecting themselves from Gray Leaf Spot, and Northern Corn Leaf Blight.
  • Southern Rust has been blown in from the south and is present in many fields currently. Infection has not been substantial enough to significantly affect yield losses.
  • Tar Spot has also been found in the lower canopy. This disease favors cooler temperatures and is typically found later in the season.
  • Adult Corn rootworm (CRW) beetles have been observed at significant levels in continuous corn acres in late July and early August. Many farmers chose to also include an insecticide with their fungicide application.


  • Pioneer® brand Enlist E3® soybeans are in excellent form this year, showcasing world-class breeding and genetic throughput.
  • The Enlist E3® herbicide has shown its strength this season by allowing Enlist E3® herbicide applications to go through R2 on Pioneer® brand Enlist E3® soybeans. In some fields, it was necessary to do a second post application, due to environment in previous applications.
  • The Enlist E3® herbicide is demonstrating this season it can control weeds with little to no drift or volatilization. No off-target moment was recorded this year in the Bloomington geography or surrounding areas.
  • Disease pressure has been low up to August 5th. Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) has begun to appear in the edges of fields, which can hamper yield.
  • Weather will continue to dictate how severe disease will become in soybeans.

Photos From North-Central Illinois

Corn Diseases

Photo - Mature corn ears - 12 ears

Photos from west of Bloomington near Danvers, Illinois. Gray Leaf Spot (GLS) continues to travel through the canopy.  Left - GLS coupled with Tar Spot. Right - Southern Rust was blown in with a storm earlier in the year. Infection rates have been low and have not surpassed the ear leaf.

Corn Rootworm Beetles

Photo - sticky trap - adult corn rootworm beetles

Adult corn rootworm beetle populations remain high in continuous corn acres.

Scouting and sticky traps remain vital to identifying where beetle populations may be severe.

Rotating to soybeans still remains the best management practice for control.


Photo - SDS symptoms on soybean leaf.

Photo taken just west of Bloomington, Illinois.

  • Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) has begun to appear and may affect yield potential.
  • Soybeans range from R3 to R5. Little insect or disease pressure has occurred as of August 5th.
  • The Enlist E3® system has delivered exceptional weed control.

Western Route - Midwest Crop Tour

Day 2 - Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Map - Western Route - Day 2 - Midwest Crop Tour
  • Begins in Grand Island, Nebraska.
  • Ends in Nebraska City, Nebraska.
  • Review Day 1.

Tour Leader - Ryan Mayer, Pioneer Field Agronomist, Southeast Nebraska

Photos - Ryan Mayer - Pioneer Field Agronomist
  • Planting presented challenges for corn. “Hard” ground at planting time has shown for season-long issues like shallow planting depth and sidewall compaction.
  • In soybeans Japanese beetles and spider mites were present early. Many have sprayed for them. This last dry spell at the end of July has allowed for spider mites to present themselves again.
  • Find more updates & photos.



Crop Conditions Across SE Nebraska

- Update from Ryan Mayer


  • Planting presented challenges. “Hard” ground at planting time has shown for season long issues like shallow planting depth and sidewall compaction.
  • July 9th storm willowed and/or green snapped many susceptible varieties. Winds commonly around 70+ mph in many spots. Watchout for arrested ear syndrome in fields with damage.
  • Two dry and hot spells in the growing season tested out drought sensitive varieties. Pioneer® brand Optimum® AQUAmax® corn hybrids have taken those hot and dry spells in stride. Pioneer® brand Qrome® products have shined again in corn-on-corn fields.
  • Rain finishing off July and August will make the difference in yields. Different growth stages during drought could make certain maturity hybrids better than others.
  • Southern Rust and Grey Leaf have made their yearly appearance in the area. They have remained at low severity. May be due to widespread fungicide spraying keeping diseases at bay. Physoderma Brown Spot has been the most common disease I have seen this year. First report of Goss’ wilt was present August 4.


  • Japanese beetles and spider mites were present early. Many have sprayed for them. This last dry spell at the end of July has allowed for spidermites to present themselves again.
  • Disease levels has been low through August. Main pressure has been from insects. Weather in August will determine if that will hold true.
  • Widespread areas were dry going into R3 stages for beans. Yields may be heavily dependent on rainfall in August.
  • Soybean Gall Midge continues to be a pest. Pioneer has many different treatments in fields looking for potential solutions.
  • Stem borer is also becoming more common. It is not at alarming levels in fields, but they are present.
  • Palmer is becoming more common and it will become critical to utilize Pioneer® brand Enlist E3® soybeans to take down those weeds with the industry leading herbicide/trait technology.


Photos From South Dakota and Nebraska

Photo - gall midge and stem borer symptoms on soybean plants

  • Soybean Gall Midge continues to be a pest. Widespread efforts to figure out management tactics.
  • Soybean Stem Borer is maybe more widespread than we think.
  • Found many affected plants while monitoring for Gall Midge! These are now very easy to find, I encourage you all to scout for these to increase awareness.

Photo - Mature corn ears - 9 ears

Japanese beetles - were commonly sprayed for this year. Started spraying in late June and have continued into August. Soybeans were not the only crop sprayed. Corn was also sprayed in areas as well.

Photo - Closeup of corn leaf.

Insecticide selection was critical as spider mites were also present at times.


Photo - Cornfield with wind damage

  • The July 9th Storm really changed the landscape.
  • Many numbers had willowing or greensnap as you would expect from 70+ mph winds. Many numbers handled the wind very well.
  • We can help our chances against the wind with optimum planting rates as you see in the picture above. Proper VRS rates will show yield return.
  • Heavily wind damaged fields may be showing signs of arrested ear development and that has a lot to do with the timing of the storm.


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