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Worst Crop Ever in Illinois?

August 6, 2011
Bullish corn price fundamentals continue to mount.
  

 The only way to get a firm handle on how good this year’s crop really is, you have to get into the field. Jerry Gulke did exactly that the past two weeks as he’s taken a tour of the Dakotas and Illinois.

Believe it or not, North Dakota has a better crop than Illinois, at least in Gulke’s opinion.

Calling from North Dakota on Friday afternoon, Gulke says the area he covered in North Dakota is that soybean fields outnumber corn fields by 2 to 1.
 
 
"The further I went away from the Red River Valley, the more corn I saw. I was surprised though that I didn’t see as much prevent planting as I thought I would. What I did see was soybeans in two different stages. I saw soybeans that looked pretty good and then soybeans that looked half the size and were yellow."
 
Most analysts, Gulke included, believed producers would take prevented planting on the eastern North Dakota acres. Rather, it appears they decided to plant soybeans and passed on the guaranteed income they could have received from prevented planting acres.
Many of those soybeans fields had standing water and that was the cause of the yellow soybean plants.
 
Further to the west, where Gulke’s farm is, he saw more and better corn. "It’s the best crop I’ve seen all year, including my farm in northern Illinois. If there’s not 200 bu./acre corn there, I’ll eat my hat. If they don’t get an early frost, these guys are going to get the best crop they’ve ever had."
 
He’s seeing a similar situation in South Dakota. "What corn is there looks astonishing. What got in in time looks very good. Soybeans don’t look good at all."
 
He’s seen similar situation in Illinois. At least a crop that doesn’t look very good.
 
Starting just north of Champaign and travelling to near Bloomington, he saw a horror story.
"I saw some of the worst corn that I’ve ever seen in my life. I did not expect to see $350-$400/acre cash rent land not produce corn."
 
Closer to Bloomington, the crop got better, he says, calling the corn crop normal. And normal is about the best he thinks you’ll see in Illinois.
 
Emerson Nafziger, crop production specialist at the University of Illinois, says the crop is very spotty in Illinois. Depending on where you are will tell you how good of a crop you have.
Concerns over high nighttime temperatures have entered the market discussions this year, after the 2010 crop suffered through a very hot July. "Last year the crop was not as prepared," Nafziger says. "There is a much better root system this year in Illinois."
 
Still, you can’t tell until you get into the fields and count kernels. That will be the key says Nafziger. 

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COMMENTS (8 Comments)

Doomund - little falls, MN
Best crop ever here, and we are on marginal rock ground. However, manure and excellent Monsanto genetics saved us. We also have been getting about 1 inch of rain every Saturday Morning it seems. Heat was oppressive but it cooled off in time for pollination.
6:58 AM Aug 9th
 
8640855
Here is a random thought. I don't live in Gods country instead of 250 bushels / acre we get 125 as the norm. Maybe you should have thought about not paying $350- 400 Per acre. Maybe you would not have to worry as much. Those rent are unsustainable and the owners and the farmers should not be so greedy. That is all it is pure greed I gotta have it or I want it so the sky is the limit. How much do you need? If you have a crop failure so be it, maybe you will think twice before bidding ground up that high next time! Come farm in my ground you would never make it you have no idea what it takes if you arn't in perfect conditions!
8:30 AM Aug 7th
 
8640855
Here is a random thought. I don't live in Gods country instead of 250 bushels / acre we get 125 as the norm. Maybe you should have thought about not paying $350- 400 Per acre. Maybe you would not have to worry as much. Those rent are unsustainable and the owners and the farmers should not be so greedy. That is all it is pure greed I gotta have it or I want it so the sky is the limit. How much do you need? If you have a crop failure so be it, maybe you will think twice before bidding ground up that high next time! Come farm in my ground you would never make it you have no idea what it takes if you arn't in perfect conditions!
8:30 AM Aug 7th
 
popham - charleston, IL
In Coles Co. (east central Il.) Corn planted around first of May looks good from the road but past the end rows, it is a different story with small ears and tipped back 20%. We are fortunate to have had some rains but the heat has took its toll.
7:45 PM Aug 6th
 
Jake S - Camp point , IL
the corn here in the Quincy Camp point Mt sterling IL area looks very good

4:19 PM Aug 6th
 
Jake S - Camp point , IL
The corn here in the quincy camp point IL area looks really good

4:17 PM Aug 6th
 
Mark - Sigel, IL
And we will have the best crop ever

7:25 AM Aug 6th
 
Mark - Sigel, IL
And we will have the best crop ever

7:25 AM Aug 6th
 



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