02 Jun 2021

Crop Progress - Eastern and Central Corn Belt

Dave Hoy: Northeast Iowa

The crops got off to a good start in northeast Iowa. Early planted corn is running close to V3, with later planted corn not far behind. In particular, LG57C33VT2RIB is showing strong early vigor and looks to be a very robust plant compared to others. Soybeans are having more of a variable start to the season. Many beans were planted deeper than usual to compensate for low soil moisture, but this resulted in uneven emergence, especially in no-till corn stalks. The stalks covered the soil and kept it cooler and may have even soaked up some of those 1/10th inch rains we got. Dry pockets in the soil have since gathered water to germinate the beans. Northeast Iowa is experiencing very few replants due to cool mornings in the lowlands, but overall things are looking promising for crop performance.

Bryant Luers: Southeast Iowa

Southeast Iowa got out of the gates fast this year, with about 95% of corn and 85% of soybeans getting planted in an eight day window. Since then, it has rained every other day and the soil has been wet, leaving a small portion of crops left to plant. The early planted corn is looking great in most areas with growth stage around V3 and growing fast. Some of the more poorly drained fields may need to be replanted after standing water has saturated them for the past few weeks. Soybeans are looking great, as well. Emergence was good, especially with some cooler weather after planting, and stands have looked great in most areas. Farmers are hopeful for some dry weather in the next week to finish up planting in southeast Iowa.

Steve Crafton: Northwest Illinois

The sun has been shining and temperatures are rising in northwest Illinois.The corn crop is greening up and soybeans are finally starting to take off. Northern Illinois was lucky to have a dry spring and the planters just kept rolling. Some farmers planted soybeans early, before April 15, and experienced frost damage so we worked through replant for those acres. Northern Illinois is about four to six inches of rain below normal since March 1, but rain is in the forecast so farmers are hopeful that things will turn around and give their high quality stands the shot of rain they need.

In western Illinois, the story has been different. The area has received almost every storm predicted to hit them, and they’ve even had a couple of two to five inch pounding rains. Most replanted corn is from May 5 or 6, because it got hit with a heavy cold rain followed by low temperatures for several nights in a row. Overall, the state is in good shape, but we need a few days of fit conditions for farmers in the western portion of the state to wrap up planting.

Jim Rowley: East Central Illinois

Crop conditions in east central Illinois are far superior to this time last year. Coming off record replants two years in a row, 2021 weather is showing promise that it may be slightly more cooperative. However, it has not been an easy spring as farmers dodged cloudbursts on a weekly basis. The earlier corn plantings are maintaining a higher survival rate compared to last year, with population and emergence scores close to 98%. Intermittent rains are preventing localized planting in those “wet and poorly drained” fields, while at the same time causing delays in timely post application of herbicides.

Most corn is at the V3 to V5 stage and has a far superior stand over the 2020 crop. Most soybeans are nearly planted, but recent rains are keeping planters from finishing up. Many farmers have put an emphasis on early planting of soybeans and are putting seed treatments and germ quality to the test. The relatively cool and wet spring has allowed for soybean disease to set in and is particularly troublesome on those fields with heavy residue and poor drainage.

Robby Meeker: Central Illinois

As the month of May wraps up, so is the tail end of planting in central Illinois. It has been a better and drier spring for most of our region than the past two years, but this year still brought its own challenges. We have endured multiple frost events, namely April 20 and then a few mornings out the first 10 days of May. But all in all, I feel that we are off to a great start. Central Illinois is 95% done planting both corn and soybeans as of Memorial Day weekend.

Corn that was planted in April looks pretty good as a whole. Some of the fields that were planted in front of cold snaps have less than perfect stands, which is not unrealistic for those conditions. Mid-April corn looks fantastic and many farmers have stated they are off to their best start since 2018. Seeing near perfect stand counts particularly in mid to late April planted corn has been a common theme on many corn acres this spring. May-planted corn has been more of a challenge due to heavy rain causing delayed emergence. All in all, central Illinois is set up for tremendous yield potential.

Soybeans are looking very good as well. Early planted soybeans have endured a lot and are starting to look great. Soybeans handled multiple frosts, and while some bit the dust, the majority of them have come out just fine and maybe even helped them out in the long run. In general, where soil was dark and little residue covered dark soils, beans were fine. In no till or minimal beans were impacted more. The central Illinois soybean crop is set up for excellent yield potential.

Brian Weihmeir: Southern Illinois

There has been a lot of activity in southern Illinois over the past month. As it sits now, roughly 90% of the corn is in the ground and about 75% of soybeans are planted. Wet soils in isolated areas have kept the remainder of the crop in the bag, while the rest of the area is finished with corn and soybeans out of the ground. Early planted soybeans are approaching V3, and early planted corn is V3 to V4. Most farmers in southern Illinois started planting corn first, while central Illinois had a mix of corn and soybeans being first in the ground which takes growth stage into effect. The biggest challenge this year started before Mother’s Day weekend and stretched until May 15. Cool and saturated soils have created uneven emergence and patchy stands in some fields. Heavy rains have created a crust, resulting in rotary hoes coming out of the shed. Some fields will need to be replanted, while others need more time for viable seeds to emerge. Because of how late we are in the season, fields with uneven emergence will most likely be left alone. Early planted fields are also getting their post-emergence spray applied and farmers are getting geared up to side-dress nitrogen soon.

Phil Brunner: Northern Indiana

Late April and early May brought an extended period of frosty nights to northern Indiana. But it didn’t stop there. The area even received a few freezes and a solid blast of snow reaching five inches in some areas. At this point, quite a few beans were already in the ground, but only a small amount of corn had been planted. Surprisingly, most of the beans survived. A couple fields in upper northwest Indiana needed to be completely replanted, but for the most part just adding in some more beans in spots was all that needed to be done. The corn faired a little better - it was slow to emerge and, when it did come up it was a bit uneven, but not bad enough to justify starting over.

Since then, things have warmed up and taken off and crops have progressed well. Both crops are about 75 – 80% planted. In the northern quarter of the state things are quite dry and farmers with irrigation have ran them to help soften the crust to even out emergence. Aside from that exception, the rest of northern Indiana is in great shape – replans are minimal and good weather remains in the forecast for spraying and side dressing nitrogen.

Corey Prosser: Ohio

The last week has been busy for farmers across the state of Ohio. Several farmers were planting for the first time at the end of May, and many areas had to replant due to two or more inches of rain on Mother’s Day. As of the last week of May, Ohio is 80 to 90% planted on corn and over 60% planted on soybeans. Many of the early-planted crops are up and look to be in good condition, while crops planted at the end of May are up and off to a good start. While it feels behind, Ohio is actually ahead of the five-year planting average.

Plots are 95% planted and many plots have XtendFlex® and E3® soybeans in them, which has a lot of farmers excited. Corn products that have been off to a good start this year include LG59C72VT2RIB and LG64C30TRCRIB, with many of the other new products looking very good as well.

Dan Mitchell: Southern Indiana, Mid-South and Delta Regions

Planting in the Mid-South and Delta has really moved along in the past several days and is ahead of the five-year average. The slow emergence of early, April-planted corn was an issue all over the Mid-South, while parts of the lower Delta have had to deal with frequent rains and are just getting caught up planting at the end of May. Most of the corn crop looks average but is improving by the day.

Soybean planting faced the same cool and wet conditions as the corn crop, but it had an added issue of slug damage. Conditions in the southern Corn Belt created a perfect storm for slugs this year. There was a lot of crop residue and cover crop in many fields, plus colder soils made slugs an issue from Indiana all the way down in to the Delta. Thousands of acres were damaged or replanted due to slug damage.

Ryan Siracusa: New York

New York’s crop is 65% planted for corn and 72% planted for soybeans. Conditions have been dry, which has helped move planting along at record-setting pace. Only one week before this report, the state of New York was only 30% planted for both crops. The most-developed corn is at V1 and some soybeans are at V1, but very few.

New York is expected to be completely done planting by June 1, aside from a few isolated farms. Weather has been dry, which has caused some farmers to stop planting due to not enough moisture in the top few inches of the soil. However, Very dry right now which has caused some to cease planting due to no moisture in the top few inches of soil.

Jeff Martin: Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia

Conditions on the East Coast have been dry and the crops are in need of a healthy rain to move the growing season along. Some areas have gone four to six weeks with no rain, and eastern Virginia experienced the driest April and May in 30 years. In general, all three states are 90 – 100% planted and 85 – 95% emerged.

Berl Jastram: Maryland and Delaware

The best way to summarize crop conditions in Maryland and Delaware is with one word: Dry. The region is extremely dry with only thunderstorms in the forecast for the next 10 days. Farmers are hopeful that these storms deliver, as moisture is currently our most limiting factor for dryland crops. Farmers have been running irrigation since almost May 15, which is very early for the region. Overall, corn is 100% planted and soybeans are 85% planted, with the only thing holding farmers back from finishing being lack of moisture. Double crop soybeans haven’t been planted yet due to barley and wheat still being in the fields.

Bill Edmund: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia

Corn is 100% planted and soybeans are approximately 85% planted. Similarly to Maryland and Delaware, the only thing holding farmers back from finishing planting is the lack of moisture. The corn crop looks great in areas of irrigation, and Georgia is approximately 75% irrigated so crops are progressing nicely. In North Carolina, less than 20% of farms are irrigated, and the dryland crops are suffering. They started off strong and were progressing remarkably well until about the last week in May, when the high temps and lack of moisture took their toll. Maturities are ranging from V6 to VT in Georgia and V4 to V10 in areas of North Carolina to lower Virginia. Dryland corn is not lost yet, but yields are being impacted by the dry weather.

Download a copy of this technical bulletin here: Crop Progress - Eastern and Central Corn Belt