Crop tour 2020: Day 2, western Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, & western Indiana
Day 2 of the crop tour was a ten-hour drive from Lincoln, NE to Indianapolis, IN (see map below).
Driving out of Nebraska and into Iowa, corn and soybean crops looked noticeably more mature, I would estimate one to two weeks ahead of Nebraska overall. Western Iowa corn was head-height (6 feet), with soybeans approaching knee-height in some fields. The corn was a healthy dark green color and appeared to be just days from pollination. The ratio of corn to soy was roughly 2:1 throughout the state from what I saw, with almost a 50-50 split in eastern Iowa. This lines up quite well with the acreage report out yesterday pegging Iowa harvest area for corn at 13.55 million acres and for soybeans at 9.32 million acres, making it the #1 state for corn and #2 for soybeans.
Iowa corn 1.
Iowa corn 2.
Iowa corn 3.
Iowa soybeans 1.
The weather started out near 80 degrees with a muggy early morning sun but quickly became overcast in central Iowa before a light rain began in eastern Iowa near the Cargill Eddyville plant. Another notable difference from Nebraska was the lushness of the crops, grass, and other vegetation. Even getting out of my car next to fields, I noticed “softer” ground indicating good rains but not flooding. The state overall looked very good and has a high potential for above-trend yield in both crops.
Eddyville Cargill plant.
Leaving Iowa and into Illinois, crop maturity reversed and was more like Nebraska. Most corn was waist-high, with some still around knee-height. Soybeans were also in early stages, with the larger fields’ plants looking like 6 to 8 inches. Going from west to east, the crops looked less and less mature. A few fields appeared to be just past emergence in the eastern part of the state, especially for soybeans. Illinois acreage was massaged to 10.70 million for corn and 10.35 million for soybeans. The notable reduction was in corn, down half a million acres from March’s Prospective Plantings report. During my trek across the state, I would say a 50-50 split between the two crops was very accurate, with maybe even slightly more soybeans in eastern Illinois.
Illinois soybeans 1.
Illinois soybeans 2.
Illinois corn 1.
Also noticeable in Illinois was that everything was very lush and green, with some fields even showing some ponding (see flooded soybean picture below). This was the exception, however, and I only counted two, maybe three fields with these conditions. While in central Illinois, I also drove through a pretty good swatch of moderate to heavy rain before drying out again near Champaign. Aside from one or two flooded fields, the rain is likely going to boost this crop’s potential.
Flooded Illinois soybean field.
Driving through Indiana, more of the same was noticed. Corn and soybeans both looking good, but a solid two weeks behind Iowa. Most corn fields were waist-high, with some still knee-high. I wasn’t able to pull over and get any good pictures due to the busier roads on that stretch, but I hope to today as I leave Indiana and head into Ohio.
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