From the Rows - Terry Johnston - Western Tour Day 3
We headed out from Nebraska City this morning with the sun coming up… yes the sun, no rain! It was 50 degrees… a bit chilly for an August morning. We jumped in the vehicles and headed for Spencer, ready for another day of sampling. It turned out to be a beautiful day.
Our route took us north of Omaha and we crossed over near Mondamin, IA, and we headed north along Iowa's western border up not too far south of the Minnesota border and then we headed east over to north of Spencer and we dropped south into town.
As we started sampling the beans, we saw a conditions similar to what we saw yesterday in southeast Nebraska, although the beans were planted in a more timely fashion in the area we toured. Our route did not take us to the southwest part of Iowa, but other scouts on the western leg of the tour reported that there are fields that were planted late in that part of the state and the crop is farther behind in those areas. Western Iowa received rain last night so the fields were muddy for most of the day. Plant health was consistently good in the bean fields, plants were green and there was very little disease pressure. We noted isolated instances of leaf spot, iron chlorosis and brown stem rot, but overall the beans were healthy. We saw a few aphid is some of the fields, but insect pressure was not an issue. We saw a couple fields that still had some blooms, but for the most part the beans are done blooming and the pods are filling. With the recent rains a normal finish to the growing season, the beans show potential for a good crop.
Corn plant health varied in the fields we were in today. We noted disease pressure in many of the fields that we sampled. We saw instances of leaf and stock diseases and in the more severely infected fields, it has taken the top end off yield potential. The more healthy fields have good yield potential. Evidence of nitrogen loss was prevalent in the fields we were in today and other scouts noted that was an issue on their routes as well. Insect pressure was variable - we saw instances of fairly heavy corn aphid infestation and some lodging in a couple fields, likely due to corn root worm damage, though it was not widespread issue.
From what we saw in western Iowa, with the exception of some areas in the southwest part of the state, there is potential for a good corn crop and it will finish well if there is a normal finish to the growing season.
Looking forward to sampling the Minnesota crop tomorrow as we follow our route from Spencer to Rochester, MN!