From the Rows, Day 2: Strong Start to Illinois Scouting - Mark Bernard (Eastern Leg)

August 23, 2016 11:23 PM

From the Rows with Mark Bernard

Today’s route was a split route with Katie and Chad from RCIS taking the bulk of the northern Indiana fields and the rest of us heading to northwest Indiana to begin sampling at LaCrosse. We had as participants: Steve Matthews, driver from Tudor Investments in Greenwich, Connecticut, Uriel Gordon from Aimidones in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Patrick McGroarty from the Wall St. Journal based out of Chicago. I had been on routes through that area before and it means seeing a lot of irrigation and crops other than corn and soybeans such as popcorn.

The 4 samples we did pull from Indiana came from the counties of Starke, Porter, Jasper and Newton. The corn samples in Starke and Porter were typical of what we’ve seen in previous years on dryland production at 139 and 152 bu./acre respectively. Yields picked up in Jasper where we pulled a 179 bu./acre sample and out high in Indiana for the day was in Newton Co. with 194 bu./acre. This corn was planted in 20” rows. All the corn we sampled in Indiana was maturing rapidly with the milk line already halfway down the kernel. Not so surprisingly we spotted silage being chopped in the area.

The soybeans samples jumped around more with the high in the 3’x3’ in Porter Co. at 2600 thanks in large part to one plant in the sample having over 230 pods on it! The low was in Jasper with a pod count of around 1400. Not bad considering these weren’t necessarily great looking beans from the road. With little disease or insect pressure noted, and ample soil moisture with the promise of more to come, it could be a pleasant surprise for producers come harvest time.

We sampled more heavily in Illinois today on our route and I’ll preface it by saying at least in the samples we pulled anyway, the corn crop appeared to be one of the Illinois corn crops I’ve come to expect in 13 years of the Crop Tour. In the seven corn samples we pulled today, four were over 200 bu. per acre with the high at 244 in Iroquois Co. In the sample from Ford Co., it probably would’ve been in the 200 bushel club to except that green snap had reduced the stand by nearly a third in places including the sample area.

Soybeans were more of a mixed bag with pod counts in the 3’x3’ varying from a high near 2600 in Livingston with a low of 1300 in Kankakee. There were more diseases noted as we were travelling across Iroquois and Livingston Co.’s., with SDS and BSR both being identified on the same plant! Most fields weren’t bad enough to cause concern while occasional adjacent fields did show some serious disease pressure.

On to finish Illinois tomorrow and to Iowa City for the largest gathering we are likely to see on this year’s Crop Tour. Hope to see you there!


For More Information

Be sure to follow AgWeb's coverage of Farm Journal Media's Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. Watch reports from the field by following Farm Journal Media journalists along for the ride on Twitter: Alison Rice at @agweb_alison, Ben Potter at @potterben, Chip Flory at @ChipFlory, Brian Grete at @bgrete, and Betsy Jibben at @BetsyJibben. And check AgWeb each evening this week for the day's freshest summary on what they're seeing in the field.

Additional Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour information is available on

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