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Will Illinois Corn Yields Outperform Iowa?

21:36PM Aug 21, 2013
corn sample illinois crop tour

The top two corn-producing states go head-to-head on the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.

It's Day Three of the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, and as scouts make their way through Iowa and Illinios, the word that keeps coming up is "variability."

"The problems we're seeing over here all go back to the planting process and the conditions that this crop was planted into," says Pro Farmer editor Chip Flory, reporting from the Western leg of the Tour.

He said corn fields in Iowa were all over the map in terms of maturity.

"We were in one field that literally had four different levels of development on the corn that we were in--everything from very late milk to early dough on one ear, down to ears that we really couldn't even count because they were just shooting silks," Flory says. "The range of development in some of these fields is really astounding and more dramatic than I expected to see."

Flory says that the weather this year hasn't done Iowa any favors, either.

"It's so strange to be going through fields that have planting issues because it was so wet during the planting season, and you've got cracks that are eight inches into the ground now," he says.

Similar Story in Illinois

On the Eastern leg of the Tour, Pro Farmer senior market analyst Brian Grete says corn samples on his route so far have been anywhere from 100 bu. per acre to over 200 bu. per acre.

"It's been all over the board in terms of variability, not only from field to field but within each field," Grete says. "A lot of the stuff that I've noticed here has been corn on corn acres are underperforming the corn that was planted on soybean acres from last year."

He says he's still seeing some dry conditions.

"Soil conditions are probably a little bit better than what I saw yesterday, but I came through a really dry area in eastern and northeastern Illinois. So, while it's better, it's not great by any means," he says.

So will Illinois' corn crop do better than Iowa's this year?

"There's potential there," Grete says, "but it's not uniform across the state, at least on the route that I've been on. We'll see what the numbers spit out when all of the routes are tabulated tonight."

Listen to the editors' full midday update on AgriTalk: