The eastern route of the crop tour began on Sunday, July 28, traveling from St. Louis across southern and eastern Illinois and then east across the central crop districts of Indiana.
The corn crop across from St Louis to east central Illinois is 2 weeks to a month late although the proportion of the crop that’s very late diminishes moving east.
There are some very late fields in southern Illinois, but the consistency of the crop improves moving further north and east from Vandalia to Pana and then Mattoon and Champaign. Crop maturity ranges from silking to the blister stage.
Plant populations are high.
Our field stops on Sunday’s route across Illinois and Indiana averaged near 30,000 ears per acre. We noted some below average ears in south central and southeastern Illinois, but found few problems with the crop in east central Illinois into west central Indiana. Yield checks ranged from 170 to near 200 bushels.
This area from near Champaign, IL to Franklin, IN was the best corn we saw on Sunday’s route. Soil moisture levels were good and crop prospects strong. We saw few signs of stress on the crop. We rated the majority of the crop in the highest category.
Ratings shifted down a notch in the central District of Indiana and in the east central. We found evidence of some significant lodging in central Indiana where plants had snapped, but the damage didn’t appear to be caused by high winds.
Yields possibilities in central to east central Indiana ranged from 160-190 bushels per acre.
Soybeans had outstanding appearance and potential for high yields in east central Illinois and west central Indiana. This largely matched what we saw along the same route for corn.
We realize that there is still the full month of August weather ahead that must be navigated by the crops. But with weather mild and forecasts for more of the same, there is the potential for beans along our route in these two districts to average over 50 bushels per acre, perhaps reaching to the mid 50s.
At least to date, these beans showed the best yield potential on our plus 2000 miles covered to date. Soybeans across south central Illinois were also good for the full season beans that were planted in May. There are some later planted full season beans that have more mediocre potential, but that is not unlike most years.
Notable were many double cropped beans east of St Louis. These beans don’t yield as well as the full season, and so mathematically they weigh down the state yield when they comprise a larger portion of the acres.
They are in good shape and have soil moisture to support development in the near term. The south central Illinois beans often rated 45 to 55 bu potential.