Pro Farmer Crop Tour - Day 3

2023 Pro Farmer Crop Tour - Day 3

Eastern Route - Wednesday August 23

Day 3

Map for Day 3, Eastern Route, Pro Farmer Crop Tour

Tour Leader - Jim Lafrenz, Pioneer Territory Manager, Southeastern Iowa

Photo - Pioneer Territory Manager Jim Lafrenz
  • The 40-day planting window spread out crop development in a wide range of environments and stresses.
  • Crops look better than the rain gauges indicate they should, but it remains highly variable…many fields are running on fumes.
  • There;s been a large range in both rainfall amounts and timing across southeast Iowa.
  • Significant moisture stress at pollination and kernel set.
  • Go to more updates and photos.

Crop Conditions Across Southeastern Iowa

- Jim Lafrenz

  • It's been a complicated growing season to summarize and evaluate.
  • “Just fit” surface soil moisture at planting – some wetter below the seed.
  • Crop residues greatly influenced soil conditions and the speed of emergence.
  • Increasing corn rootworm pressure in corn/soy rotations north of I-80.
  • Slow start to foliar diseases.
  • Highly variable rainfall throughout vegetative and reproductive crop development.


  • Corn stand counts are good overall but some unevenness.
  • Some corn rooting issues.
  • Tillage compaction, sidewall smearing, and CRW feeding limited the ability for roots to access soil moisture and nutrients.
  • Dry soils limited nutrient uptake - N, K, S notable in corn.


  • Challenging year for soybean emergence. 
  • Overall soybean stands are adequate but more variable than past years depending on planting date/environment.
  • 20%+ stand reductions are common.
  • Minimal rain to keep pre-herbicides in solution.



Not an easy year for crop emergence.

Tight soils, high residue, getting seeds to moisture.

emergence issues - young corn plants

Jackson County, IA.

emergence issues - young corn plants

Jones County, IA.

emergence issues - young corn plants

Jones County, IA.


Uneven tassel emergence showed challenges at corn emergence.

uneven corn tassel growth

Jackson County, IA

uneven corn tassel growth

uneven corn plant development

Uneven emergence now showing smaller ears in delayed plants.

Uneven emergence now showing smaller ears in delayed plants.


Corn Rootworm Pressure

CRW pressure in corn/soybean rotations north of I-80 in Linn County IA.

Linn County - 6/29/23
CRW pressure in corn/soybean rotations north of I-80.

Western Route - Wednesday August 23

Day 3

Map - Western Route - Day 3 - Pro Farmer Crop Tour

Tour Leader - Ben Hinners, Pioneer Sales Agronomist, Northwest Iowa

Pioneer Sales Agronomist Ben Hinners
  • As of August 11, corn was at the R3-R4 stage across most of NW Iowa. Soybeans were at the R4 stage.
  • Corn rootworm feeding has been observed throughout most of NW Iowa.
  • Utilizing Pioneer® brand Qrome® and Vorceed™ Enlist® technologies and other appropriate management strategies has been key to keep the pressure down.
  • Soybeans were also challenged by heavy residue, cool soil temperatures and crusting after planting.
  • Pioneer® brand A-Series Enlist E3® soybeans stand out with their solid agronomic trait packages and excellent plant health.
  • Find more updates & photos.

Crop Updates - Northwest Iowa

- Ben Hinners

Weather Challenges

  • Early April started with warm dry conditions and quickly shifted to cool and wet.
  • May came with some cool soil temps and heavy rains that stalled out crop growth.
  • Every storm in June contained hail and wind.
  • Late July we had more extreme temperatures during R1-R2 and used up a majority of remaining water.

Planting Conditions

  • Started off with dry soil conditions but extremely cold subsoil temperatures.
  • First planting window was mid-April which was shut down by cool temperatures and rain.
  • Remainder of planting started the last week in April through early May.
  • Overall emergence from Pioneer® brand corn hybrids was exceptional with a few cases of imbibitional chilling.


  • Corn emergence was challenged this year due to:
    • Cool soil temperatures.
    • High residue from the lack of decomposition the last two years.
  • Drought stress is showing up over the last couple of weeks with edge effect and continued drought from 2020.
  • Localized pockets of damage from wind and hail that have taken out fields.


  • Herbicide carryover plagued a lot of soybean acres due to the lack of moisture to break down the herbicide from last year’s corn applications.
  • Pest pressure has been relatively low, pockets of aphids and spider mites.
  • Iron deficiency chlorosis showed up big in glacial till soils.
  • White mold is starting to show up in pockets.

Corn - NW Iowa

Closeup - Qrome product sign next to corn plants - midseason

  • Disease pressure in corn has been relatively low due to hot dry weather that has minimized favorable pathogen conditions.
  • There is a lot of variability in NW Iowa with some areas starting to recover from the drought and other areas are still extremely dry.
  • Fertility has been essential to raising a good crop the last couple of years.
  • Rootworm feeding has been widespread this year.

Residue Management

residue management in cornfield

  • High levels of residue due to the lack of moisture to break it down.
  • Residue management have been key to establishing a good stand.
  • Residue was hair pinned in furrow in many situations.
  • Excess residue created a mat that delayed emergence on corn.

Soybeans - NW Iowa

soybean plot in NW Iowa

  • Soybeans were slow to get going this year with the lack of moisture. in June but have recovered nicely with a few timely rains.
  • Foliar disease pressure in soybeans has been relatively low this year.
  • Starting to find aphids in the area, but the population has remained under the threshold.
  • Grasshoppers can be found on field edges and are causing defoliation.
  • Spider Mites were being found before the recent rains in the drought areas.

Danny Brummel -  M.S. - Pioneer Agronomy Resource Manager

Pioneer Agronomy Resource Manager Danny Brummel

Enlist E3® soybeans.

Hear more from Pioneer Agronomy Resource Manager Danny Brummel.
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Photo - man reviewing tablet in cornfield - mid season

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*Data is based on the average of comparisons made in the US 2019-2021. Comparisons are against all competitors, technology segment matched, unless otherwise stated, and within a +/- 3 CRM of the competitive brand. Efficacy from multiple trials with moderate & high CRW pressure at 8 locations in 2014, 6 locations in 2015, 8 locations in 2016, 8 locations in 2017, 10 locations in 2018, 9 locations in 2019, and 15 locations in 2020.