As we travelled south, we got off of the interstate on to Route 17 in Henry County. From there headed south to Knox County. I grew up in this area so I am very familiar with the area. Corn and soybeans looked great. They look like they have the biggest crop in years. Corn was some of the tallest I saw on the entire trip. Looks like pollination right after the 4th. Soybeans look good as well, but not as big relative to the corn. Also saw the effects from lack of early season weed control. Big water hemp and "burners" were setting the beans back a bit.
Arrived back in Champaign about 10:00 after a 1,072 mile tour. After reflecting for a day, my thoughts are as follows:
1. Corn looked great everywhere. Stands were good, progress was slightly ahead of normal. A friend who monitors growth said this morning corn in Champaign grew 3.5 feet last week. Not hard to believe that wasn't the case everywhere I travelled.
2. Soybeans looked good, but not the overall great appearance of the corn crop. Soybeans have a miraculous way of putting it all together to take a good crop to a great crop with the right weather. Most of Iowa and Parts of Illinois need sunshine not rain to improve the soybeans.
3. Corn acreage is down slightly and soybean acreage is larger. We have been hearing this might be the case. After this trip, I believe it. It appears that farmers trended back to a more traditional corn soybean rotation. Both states have more corn than soybeans, but acreage is closer to 55-45 or 60-40 than the last few years where 70-30 was more the norm.
4. Weed resistance is real. We are more fortunate in East Central Il than those in Western Il and Iowa. Several fields are going to have uncontrolled water hemp and rag weed. We need to do a better job getting these weeds killed at a smaller size and we need to use the appropriate chemistry to kill the weeds.
5. Final thought. I would get your beans sold. If you feel the need protect the upside, use an option strategy. I think bean prices are going to fade into harvest assuming any sort of normal weather. For corn I think the crop is big, but maybe a reduced acreage will hold the production to a manageable level. Again this crop is big, could get bigger with the right weather. Wide basis, storage issues will exist this fall.
I hope anyone who read this found something worth while. Thanks for reading. Feel free to send your comments.