Pro Farmer West Leg: Rain Falls and Yields Impress in Southwest Iowa

01:21PM Aug 21, 2019
Crop Tour Field
A bird's eye view of one crop tour stop.
( Eric Crowley )

As scouts press forward through a deluge of rain in southwestern Iowa, they’re finding mud—and decent crops. While there’s still prevent plant acres to be found, the fields that did get planted are shaping up to be an average crop, and in a year like 2019 that’s something to be celebrated.

“You know, the corn is pretty good,” says Jeff Wilson, lead for the west leg of the Pro Farmer Crop Tour. “That 137 to 210 bu. per acre is our range.”

He anticipates the low end was caused by problems at planting. In addition, those corn crops just aren’t very mature and are variable—sometimes even within a single field. One field showed corn that was just pollinated, some that was three-weeks past and other areas with even greater variance.

On the soybean side, Wilson is seeing “pretty good” pod counts.

“There’s no blooms left and row spacing is all over the place,” he says. “So, I think the best fields we’re seeing are some of the narrower planted ones. It’s 870 to 1255 [pods per 3x3 square]. I feel like that might be okay to maybe a little on the low side.”

Scouts have seen more disease and weeds in fields throughout southwest Iowa—sudden death syndrome specifically.

It might sound like a broken record this week, but it remains true, the crops are immature. They’ll need more time, and sunlight to get to the finish line.

“Sun. That’s the bottom line,” Wilson says. “We also need warm temperatures at night to keep that factory working.”

Scouts reflect on yesterday’s Nebraska results.

“The way I put it last night is Nebraska is an average crop,” Wilson says. “If you look at the three-year average we’re actually up 2.9%. Planting issues probably held it down a little bit but we’ve had all that rain, so dry land maybe brought it up a little bit.”

While on the tour, one farmer said he’d received twice as much rain as he would in a ‘normal’ year. The crop, however, still has some challenges.

“South of the Platte River is in the dough stage and I think it’s in pretty good shape,” says AgriTalk Host Chip Flory. “You give it another 40 days, and everything will be ok. You have to get up north of Norfolk before you’re really concerned about the maturity of the Nebraska crop.”

Find complete Crop Tour route reports, market analysis and historical comparisons at

Follow along with the week's coverage:

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Crop Tour Day 2 Results: Nebraska Expected to Out-Yield Indiana

Crop Tour Scouts Prepare for Rain, Inconsistent Fields in East Leg

Crop Tour: South Dakota and Ohio Yields Plummet with Poor Planting

Inconsistent, Sparse Fields Plague South Dakota

Soybeans Have a Long Way to Go in South Dakota

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Scouts Find What Farmers Already Knew: Variability Plagues Ohio