Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour - 2021 | Day 4 | Pioneer® Seeds
Soybean field - closeup - midseason

Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour - Day 4

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

Eastern Route - Midwest Crop Tour

Day 4 - Thursday, August 19, 2021

Map for Day 4, Eastern Route, Midwest Crop Tour
  • Begins in Iowa City, Iowa.
  • Ends in Rochester, Minnesota.

Leader - Josh Shofner, Pioneer Field Agronomist, Southeast Minnesota

Crop Tour 2021 - Josh Shofner, Pioneer Field Agronomist
  • Corn has entered the R4 stage in most of SE Minnesota as of August 1st.
  • The majority of soybeans have reached the R4-R6 stage across Minnesota..
  • Find more updates & photos.

Crop Conditions - Southeast Minnesota

- Update from Josh Shofner


  • Low levels of disease have been observed. Warm and dry conditions have minimized disease risk.
  • Corn rootworm (CRW) feeding was heavy in southern Minnesota. Increased populations a year ago paired with back-to-back mild winters allowed western and northern CRW populations to increase to the highest levels in a decade. Adult beetle populations were observed at extremely high levels in July. A lot of adult beetle control was conducted during fungicide applications.
  • Lack of moisture continues to be the major story in Minnesota. To date we have had some timely rains, but subsoil moisture is depleted. The crop has looked good from the road for most of the growing season. However, the lack of moisture is starting to really show in areas of the state. Pioneer® brand Optimum® AQUAmax® corn hybrids have shined in areas with lack of moisture and Pioneer® brand Qrome® products have shined again in corn-on-corn fields across Minnesota.


  • Soybean aphid populations have been extremely low up to August 1st across Minnesota. Seeing spider mite populations creeping in field edges due to dry conditions and observed some low levels of defoliation due to Japanese beetles.
  • Disease levels have been low up to August. Very mild levels of white mold starting to show up in the Southeast corner of Minnesota; weather conditions in August will determine if this continues to be a growing issue or fizzles out due to warm/dry conditions.
  • Weed control was tough as a result of dry conditions early and hot and dry conditions in June. Pioneer® brand Enlist E3® soybeans showcased their strengths and flexibility of having elite genetics paired with the leading trait/herbicide technology in the industry. With tolerance to three common herbicides – 2,4-D choline, glyphosate and glufosinate - Pioneer® brand Enlist E3® soybeans offer options to control the toughest weeds while limiting future herbicide resistance and delivering strong yield potential.
  • The Minnesota soybean crop was planted early, and a lot of the crop was well into the reproductive stage the last ¼ of June. Just like corn, August rain will have a huge factor on the yield of the Minnesota soybean crop.

Photos - Southeast Minnesota

Photo - CRW feeding

Rootworm feeding was heavy across Minnesota. Best management practices will be important managing this pest moving forward. A lot of feeding went unnoticed due to lack of summer rains and wind.

Photo - Corn plants showing symptoms of nutrient deficiency.

Potassium deficiencies were present in corn and soybeans the first half of the growing season. This was likely enhanced due to dry conditions. Nitrogen deficiencies have not been as common vs. previous years due to lack of May and June rains.

Photo - Soybeans under weed and insect pressure

Soybeans range from R4-R6 across Minnesota. Soybean aphid pressure has been low, however Japanese Beetle and Spider mites are present in areas. Waterhemp continues to be a challenge in soybeans. However, a pre-emerge herbicide utilized with the Enlist E3® system has delivered solid weed control!

Photo - Corn plants - late season

August moisture will be a major factor on the outcome of the Minnesota crop. The crop is well advanced compared to normal due to early planting dates and warm summer temperatures. Course soils are starting to show drought stress; heavier soils are hanging on very good but will need rain in some areas very soon. (Photo by: Josh Shofner.)

Western Route - Midwest Crop Tour

Day 4 - Thursday, August 19, 2021

Crop Tour 2019 - Map for Western Route, Day 4
  • Begins in Spencer, Iowa.
  • Ends in Rochester, Minnesota.

Leader - Aaron Prestemon, Pioneer Field Agronomist, Northeast Iowa

Aaron Prestemon - for Crop Tour 2021
  • Great soil conditions to start the planting season but hot, windy conditions quickly dried the soil surface and challenged planters to get seeds into moisture.
  • For soybeans significant acres of early planting (some ahead of corn) continues a trend we’ve seen for the last few years to drive earlier flowering and higher yield potential.
  • Find more updates & photos.


Crop Conditions - Northeast Iowa

- Update from Aaron Prestemon


  • Corn staging is mostly in R3-R4 for early planted fields in NE Iowa with the no-till and late planted fields being slightly behind.
  • The corn rootworm pressure has built to extremely high levels with two mild winters in a row for NE Iowa. Beetle emergence has resulted in very high numbers and some fields experiencing silk clipping and kernel loss. Many corn/corn fields losing 7-10 kernels per ear in high pressure areas.
  • Areas of early spring frost damage are lingering into uneven fields now for grain fill.
  • Disease level is extremely low with very small amounts of grey leaf spot starting to appear. Tar spot pressure has been very low due to lack of moisture and low humidity periods this summer.
  • The crop has enough nitrogen in most cases inside the canopy showing little to no nitrogen stress.
  • The crop is needing moisture is finish kernel depth and lower water holding capacity soils are showing stress with the “just in time” rain we have had so far.


  • Soybeans are R3-R4 for NE Iowa with very consistent staging due to tight planting window.
  • Low disease and pest pressure with aphids and spider mite being found in many cases but not high pressure.
  • Nodulation is poor in compacted or water stressed areas resulting in yellow soybean fields or areas of fields.
  • Moisture is needed to finish the pod count we currently have in NE Iowa.
  • Hot and dry conditions during the early post pass herbicide window for soybeans did not allow great weed control. The result is some fields with high weed pressure under the canopy.

Photos - NE Iowa

Early season frost for NE Iowa was relatively widespread affecting field uniformity.

Early season frost for NE Iowa was relatively widespread affecting field uniformity. Some areas replanted soybeans and corn due to 28-degree lows and plant fatality. Planting conditions were not as good as predicted with many fields having a defined sidewall in root development

Photo - Rootworm root floats resulted in heavy levels of larvae per plant

Rootworm root floats resulted in heavy levels of larvae per plant. Observations resulted in many different stages of larvae including pupae through 1st instar. Following best management practices from Pioneer did result in less pressure. Often rootworm management starts the year before planting.

Photo - Injury to corn plants from CRW feeding.

Challenges of corn/corn with high rootworm beetle this year included: Silk clipping within ½” of the ear and spotty pollination. Extended timing of rootworm beetle emergence that is over 10 weeks in duration. Silking later than neighboring fields can result in beetle migration.

Photo - corn leaf canopy.

Scouting in the corn canopy has resulted in minimal disease pressure. Minimal nitrogen stress with dry June and early July conditions. Ear node placement has been consistent and not as much plant to plant variance as past years.

Photo comparing poorly nodulated soybeans to well nodulated..

Picture compares poorly nodulated soybeans to well nodulated. Notice the green color compared to yellow and more compacted plant stature. Dry and compacted soils have resulted in struggles with nodulation. Soybean pod-set is good but timely rains will be needed to finish the crop. Weed control is poor in some cases with hot and dry conditions during post weed control passes.


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