From the Rows Day 3 - Mark Bernard

Day three of the Farm Journal Crop Tour had our group running north of Bloomington IL deadheading 20 miles north to start sampling. We then moved through counties going north and then straight west where we crossed the IA border at the Quad Cities. We sampled Woodford, Marshall, Putnam, Bureau, Henry and Rock Island on the IL side of the border and picked up samples in Scott, Clinton and Cedar on the IA side. Today’s contestants consisted of Steve Matthews GRO Intelligence in NY, NY, Jesse Newman from Wall St. Journal based out of Chicago, Vinicius Santos and his handler Paulo Santos from Germinare in Uberlandia Brazil. We got to eat at The Machine Shed in Davenport so now I can cross that off my bucket list.


The average of the corn samples on our route today in IL was 205 bu./acre with a high of 252 in Marshall Co. and a low of 168 in Henry Co. On the soybean side our average pod count in the 3’x 3’ square was 1152 pods with a high of 1874 in Bureau Co. and a low of 848 in Henry Co. All things considered on the IL side of the border for us, there was low insect and disease pressure in both crops. About all we noticed today were a few Japanese beetles in the stinkbugs in the soybeans for insects and some gray leaf spot in the corn for disease. SDS continues to be relatively sparse in the soybeans. There was very little nitrogen deficiency in the corn and far less replanting in evidence in both crops.  


When we came across the border into IA we were only able to pull four samples before having to head in for the evening meeting. The high corn sample came from Scott Co. at 219 bu./acre and the low sample was from Cedar at 151 bu./acre. The average of the 3’ x 3’ bean pod counts in the samples was somewhat disappointing, averaging only 1008 pods. The high with 1315 came from a sample in Scott Co. with a low of 763 also from Scott Co.


No different than the past two days on today’s route, it was evident that the crop had encountered beneficial weather since the time it was in potential trouble after it was planted. The moderate temperatures and rainfall events with adequate yet not excessive precipitation helped it develop into a better crop than one might’ve expected back in May and June. It took a punch but got back up off the deck. It still has a ways to go but in the case of the corn today, most of it was well dented and the milk line was beginning to show on some of it.


On to the last day of scouting and the final wrap up tomorrow night in Rochester MN!