Northeastern Nebraska corn looks strong for both irrigated and dryland. Stands are very good. The crop shows no stress. It has good color, but even the better fields are probably one to two weeks late. This shouldn't impact yield potential too significantly. We did note the occasional field that was extremely late ... probably three weeks from tasseling. This corn is clearly at risk. Overall, our impression of northeastern Nebraska's dryland corn is that is has well above average yield potential.
Corn condition and development on our route across northwestern Iowa was also very good. Most of the crop rated in our highest category. Plant populations were high pointing to yield potential of 175 to 200 bushels. Crop maturity was lagging somewhat, but it doesn't appear to be a limiting factor. Soil moisture levels were adequate which will aid the crop through the remainder of the summer.
Crop prospects shifted significantly as we entered southwestern Minnesota. Crop maturity varies widely across southwestern and southcentral Minnesota. We didn't find any obvious moisture stress. Instead, the concern centers on lagging crop development with some pockets where corn is two to three weeks late. This corn is clearly vulnerable to even a normal frost date. While maturity is lagging a little for the earlier planted corn, the majority of the crop has strong yield potential. Our yield checks were in the low 170s to low 190s.
Corn in north central Iowa near Mason City is also behind normal development. Maturity is closer to normal further east to northeast Iowa. Stands and plant counts are very high, but again the unknown and perhaps limiting factor for yields is the maturity.
We observed soybeans in portions of three states on Tuesday; northeastern Nebraska, northwestern Iowa, southwestern and southcentral Minnesota, and finally northcentral and northeastern Iowa. The general observation is of a mostly good to sometimes excellent soybean crop that probably needs a full growing season to reach its potential. That is not necessarily a given, but for now will be the assumption.
Northeastern Nebraska and northwestern Iowa are roughly adjacent districts with no major differences in the apparent quality of the yield potential for the beans. Northeastern Nebraska can be a pivotal region because many of its acres are non-irrigated. In Nebraska's often drier climate, it increases the odds for weather damage. That isn't the case this year. By far the majority of the fields project to 45 to 55 bu/a. Our measurements gave the same story in northwest Iowa. Ninety percent of the fields were in the top rating.
Bean stands and development progress diminished in southwest Minnesota. It was a surprise to see stands become more uneven and crop progress more delayed about Worthington. It was closer to a 50-50 proposition between just fair prospects versus good to excellent during our southwest route. Crop potential improved heading eastward into the southcentral district. Outstanding fields outnumbered fair fields by 3 to 1 at least.
Admittedly, our Minnesota route every year is limited to the southern area of the state, with lots of production to the north. We are aware of news about some dry areas of the state, but on our route, dry-weather crop stress was not observed.
The final stage on Tuesday was back into Iowa south of Albert Lea, MN, heading east and south into Waterloo. Beans had a ragged, sometimes stressed appearance in some areas about Mason City. There was a noticeable increase in late development. But further to the east, in Iowa's northeast crop district, bean vegetative growth was quite well along with good, healthy and clean stands. There is potential for some exceptionally high yields there, just as was the case in northwest and westcentral Iowa. That contrasts certainly to southeast Iowa with many late beans and frequently disappointing stands.
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