Western Tour: Day three from Terry Johnston

August 19, 2008 07:00 PM

From the Rows

I don't want to jinx it for tomorrow, but three days in a row of sunshine and cool temps have made this year's Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour sampling process very enjoyable.
We all had a long day today, most of us left the hotel before daylight to cover the long routes in western Iowa. We went from Nebraska City to Spencer, Iowa, and covered from the border of Missouri to Minnesota.

Let's talk about corn first. In some ways it was similar to SD and NE in that the plant health is very good, with few exceptions there was very little disease or insects in the corn and ear counts were high. There were some issues in SW Iowa because of the massive amounts of rain earlier in the season but overall this crop is one of the healthiest crops we've seen on this Tour over the years. We did see a less mature crop than in most years… there was more corn in milk than in dent. But barring an early frost it should mature nicely. The lack of disease and insect pressure along with good moisture and high ear counts has made a crop with very good yield potential.

The soybeans are a slightly different story, while the plants didn't exhibit much -- if any -- disease, we did see a lot of aphids in the fields. Talking to farmers they told us that they had sprayed for aphids and we saw sprayers in the field and spray planes flying -- the issue still exists. One of the scouts pointed out to a grower that even though he sprayed earlier, the field still had a threshold level of aphids out there. The pod counts we pulled out of the fields today were comparable to previous years, but like rest of the crop we've seen this week the crop needs moisture and time to reach its full potential.

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