On day two of the eastern route of the crop tour we traveled through northwestern Ohio, the northern crop districts of Indiana into eastern Illinois.
We rated corn in northwestern Ohio as good to excellent. Maturity is lagging, but stands are strong we found few signs of stress. The maturity of the crop was consistent, mostly silking or in the blister stage. However, the outward appearance of the crop was a little better than what our field checks revealed. Some of the lodging issues we noted in central Indiana continued into Ohio. This held ear counts down a little. Also, ear size may be a limiting factor with kernel row counts slightly below average. The crop in northeastern Indiana was of similar quality and maturity. Based on our observations, yield in NW Ohio will likely average 160-180 and NE Indiana 140-160 bushels per acre. While we found some problems, our ratings are above average for these regions.
Corn yield potential improved as we moved west into north central and northwestern Indiana. Yield checks mostly ranged from 180-200 bushels per acre. Ear counts are moving higher as we found in the western Corn Belt, averaging well over 30,000 per acre. Ear size was average or above. Few signs of stress and corn had good color and height. Corn was also more mature than compared to eastern Indiana. Grain is mostly in the milk stage. Including our route the previous day, crop prospects for Indiana are strong with high yield potential in the central and western crop districts.
We concluded with northeastern Illinois from Kankakee to Bloomington. Generally, corn in this area looks very good with yields from 180-200+ bushels. We did find corn suffering from dryness south of Kankakee in Iroquois county. Plants were fired and clearly under stress, similar to much of what we saw across the state in 2012. However, the crop improves greatly further west toward Dwight, IL. Overall, corn in this area has the best yield potential we have seen for the region since 2008.
Soybean prospects rated highly for the majority of our route traveled on Monday and identified in more detail above in the corn discussion. For the route from northwest Ohio westward across northern Indiana into northeast Illinois, we found the majority of fields with favorable vegetative growth and active flowering and pod setting. Excepting northeast Indiana, potential projected into the 50s and there are many fields that appear to have the potential to reach 60 bushels or more per acre. Soil moisture levels were not desirable however as many fields could use a drink pretty soon. So if the dry pattern were to persist, yields would be at risk to suffer a few bushels off of the potential. We have seen in past years many more instances of visible moisture stress in the sandy soils of northern Indiana and Ohio than this year. Taking the weather forecasts into account, which are generally favorable, eastern /Midwest soy yield potential ranks among the highest of any of the past tours.