Results: Iowa Corn Dominates Estimates, Minnesota is Just Below 2018

Iowa's corn yields towered over neighboring states in the 2019 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour. ( Crop Tour Scouts )

Iowa again reigns “King Corn.” After falling behind Illinois in 2018, the Hawkeye State’s corn yields prove dominant over all previous 2019 Pro Farmer Crop Tour state estimates. Iowa soybean pod counts take second, just below Nebraska’s, but still prove to be impressive.

Minnesota, while not the winning awards for biggest crops this year, is showing respectable yield and pod count estimates—despite challenges last fall and this spring.

Iowa corn yields came in strong at 182.83 bu. per acre and soybeans reached 1,106.91 pods per 3x3 square. When compared with 2018 Pro Farmer estimates, corn is just 2.9% short and soybeans are 8.4% less.

“You know, it wasn’t the best crop by any means we’ve seen in Iowa,” says Brian Grete, Pro Farmer editor and leader of the east leg of the Crop Tour. “I think variability and things like that are what’s going to hold it down from being really good.”

It’s a decent crop, not necessarily a great crop when you compare it to record-breaking recent years. However, in corn at least, it’s still the strongest state in the tour. Soybeans, however, seemed to struggle a little more.

“They look like double crop soybeans in some cases,” says Jeff Wilson, leader of the western leg of the Pro Farmer Crop Tour. “And they may perform that way when it’s all said and done.”


While Iowa has the potential to be one of the more impressive U.S. cropping states, it hasn’t been without challenges. Struggles from a wet spring are showing up in August.

“It’s not the sins of the spring this year,” says Chip Flory, AgriTalk host and Pro Farmer editorial director. “It was a forced error.”

After fighting tooth and nail just to get the crop in, farmers are now looking at more immature crops than normal in August—but not dangerously immature. There could be additional quality issues coming down the road, too.

Here’s how each district shaped up after more than 800 total samples:

  • Corn
    • District 1: 66 samples
      • Yield 184.88
    • District 2: 40 samples
      • Yield 178.06
    • District 3: 55 samples
      • Yield 184.66
    • District 4: 63 samples
      • Yield 192.71
    • District 5: 33 samples
      • Yield 178.61
    • District 6: 72 samples
      • Yield 172.42
    • District 7: 35 samples
      • Yield 186.28
    • District 8: 10 samples
      • Yield 188.94
    • District 9: 34 samples
      • Yield 183.91
  • Soybeans
    • District 1: 65 samples
      • Pods 1095.93
    • District 2: 39 samples
      • Pods 1159.57
    • District 3: 57 samples
      • Pods 1106.25
    • District 4: 62 samples
      • Pods 1196.06
    • District 5: 33 samples
      • Pods 1026.07
    • District 6: 73 samples
      • Pods 1091.25
    • District 7: 35 samples
      • Pods 1221.13
    • District 8: 9 samples
      • Pods 1018.11
    • District 9: samples
      • Pods 924.03

Minnesota corn yields hit 170.37 bu. per acre and 965.31 pods per 3x3 square—both just slightly lower than 2018 Pro Farmer estimates. Year over year, soybeans are down 11.4% and corn yield is down 4.6%.

One of the biggest challenges holding Minnesota’s corn crop back is green snap and prevent plant. However, prevent plant isn’t included in yield estimates. Still, tour scouts took note of holes in fields, which will impact final yield numbers because those acres are considered “harvested acres” by USDA.

Overall, Minnesota is a young crop with some catching up to do.

“It needs daylight, sunlight,” Wilson says. “It needs low humidity and warmer temperatures and dry weather. It’s going to take five weeks for some of that crop.”


Minnesota districts showed some variability in their more-than 200 total samples:

  • Corn
    • District 5: 6 samples
      • Yield 181.39
    • District 7: 46 samples
      • Yield 157.03
    • District 8: 94 samples
      • Yield 174.15
    • District 9: 40 samples
      • Yield 175.20
  • Soybeans
    • District 5: 5 samples
      • Yield 928.80
    • District 7: 44 samples
      • Yield 975.98
    • District 8: 91 samples
      • Yield 933.31
    • District 9: 36 samples
      • Yield 886.59


Find complete Crop Tour route reports, market analysis and historical comparisons at

Follow along with the week's coverage:

Crop Tour Day 3: Illinois Corn and Soybeans Yields Take a Nosedive

#PFTour19 Offers Hopeful Results Despite Maturity Issues

Crop Tour Scouts Expect Improved Maturity As They Head West

Crop Tour Day 2 Results: Nebraska Expected to Out-Yield Indiana

Crop Tour Scouts Prepare for Rain, Inconsistent Fields in East Leg

Crop Tour: South Dakota and Ohio Yields Plummet with Poor Planting