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June 26, 2019

Trip Report - Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Late last week and over the weekend we took a trip across Illinois, northern and north-central Indiana and northwestern Ohio.

Illinois - In Illinois we traveled from Chicago west to the Quad Cities, south to Lincoln, east to Champaign, then north to Chicago, so we saw the northern and central part of the state. I thought the crops in northern Illinois were much worse than I expected, while the crops in central Illinois were very delayed, but about as I had expected. It gets wetter and the crops get worse as you go further north in the state. Conversely, it gets dryer and the crops get better as you go south in the state (but still very delayed).

There were only limited areas of Illinois that looked about like it should at this time of the year. Many areas looked like what you would expect about the second week of May in a normal year.

Illinois Corn - Northern Illinois had the most standing water, the most unplanted fields, and the most delayed crop development. The tallest corn in northern Illinois was maybe half way up to my knees and the shortest corn was just emerging or 3-4 inches tall. The tallest soybeans were 3-4 inches tall, while the shortest soybeans were just emerging, or not even emerged.

In central Illinois, the tallest corn was maybe waist high, but those fields were few and far between. Some of the corn was less than knee high and a lot of the corn was 3-4 inches tall. The tallest soybeans were 3-4 inches while a lot of the soybeans were just emerging or 1-3 inches tall.

It was obvious that the corn had been planted in stages with the tallest corn planted probably in late April and the shortest corn planted within the last two weeks. Of all the corn we saw in Illinois, I would estimate that the waist high corn represented less than 1% of the total. Approximately 40% of the corn was knee high or half knee high. The remaining 60% of the corn was emerging to 3-4 inches tall.

Most of the taller corn had a good dark green color and the plant populations looked normal. The shorter corn had a lighter green color, which is typical for corn at that stage. There were some skips in the shorter corn, so the plant populations were not as good compared to the taller corn.

We saw a little corn that had been replanted. We saw a lot of corn acres that are currently under water and it will be too late to replant the corn once the soil dries out.

Illinois Soybeans - The soybeans ranged from ankle high, which were few and far between, to soybeans that were 2-3 inches tall to just emerging. We saw a lot of fields that had been planted, but the soybeans had not yet emerged. The soybeans are so delayed, you can't say much about the crop because the plants are so small.

Some of the unplanted soybeans might still be planted if it stays warm and dry for 3-4-5 days. The prevent plant date in northern Illinois was 10 days ago (June 15th) and I do not think there will be many if any soybeans still planted in the northern part of the state. The prevent plant date for the southern 2/3 of Illinois was 5 days ago (June 20th) and some of the unplanted soybeans might still get planted if it stays warm and dry for 3-4-5 days. My guess is that a lot of soybeans that have not been planted will probably be claimed as prevent plant.

There are holes in some of the soybean fields that will need to be replanted and they might get replanted if it stays warm and dry for an extended period of time. Any soybeans planted this week or next week are going to have a reduced yield potential.

Northeastern Indiana and Northwestern Ohio - The crop situation gets worse as you go east in Indiana. In northeast Indiana and in northwest Ohio the situation is very bad. Virtually every field had standing water and there were many fields that had never been touched this spring. The planted and unplanted fields were mixed together, so it was hard to tell how many fields were not planted. It was worse than I expected and I cannot recall ever seeing it this bad in late June.

The tallest corn in northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio was maybe ankle high and they were few and far between. Most of the corn was either just emerging or 3-4 inches tall. It was hard to tell how much of the soybeans had been planted, but the soybeans ranged from just emerging to about 2-3 inches tall. Some of the crops will be drowned out in areas where there is standing water, but it will be too late to replant corn once it dries out.

They might still try to replant the soybeans if it dries out in time, but it will be hard because it is really wet, the area is flat, and the soils are heavy, so it would take an extended period of dry weather before the farmers could get back into the fields.

The tallest corn we saw in Indiana was in western Indiana where it was about half way up to my knees. Even in the best parts of Indiana, the crops are extremely delayed. In general, the crop development was about what you would expect in mid-May and not at the end of June!

Some of the late planted corn will not pollinate until mid-August and then it is going to be race if it reaches maturity before the first frost. I would guess right now that some of the late planted corn will not mature before frost.