So as I have actually had time to reflect and catch up on some rest here are my final thoughts of our tour this year.
1. Indiana has little chance to be average. Warren and Benton Counties are typically two of the best counties in the State. We traveled both and found, replanted fields, low plant stands (in fields that were left), and overall water damage. The area had a TOUGH spring that will certainly continue into summer and make fall a mess.
2. Illinois and Iowa both have areas that need rain BEFORE pollination. We drove 1670 miles and found several counties that need a drink before we get to pollination. Typical of every year but prevalent this year are large areas of dry soils. A big part of Central Illinois and NW Iowa need a drink soon.
3. 75% of Iowa has more than adequate moisture. We found the NE quadrant with enough moisture to make it all the way through pollination. Northern Illinois certainly has enough moisture as well.
4. Minnesota has the best corn crop we have seen in the 5 years we have visited. BIG plant stands (both were slightly over 40,000 ppa) and plenty of moisture. I tweeted out pictures of the mud on my shoes after being in those fields.
5. Iowa farms all look like they were planted in the same week. Never have we seen so little variability. V7-V10 caught every field (the the average being V10). What this means is watch the heat in Iowa July 10-24. I believe 85% of Iowa will pollinate in that time frame.
6. Iowa farmers have embraced high plant stands. We found that 36,000 was a low plant stand in Iowa. Seed dealers must have cut some deals or somehow convinced everyone in the state to plant thicker.
7. Illinois will be average. Southern IL is behind and doesn't typically change the overall state yield unless they are great. Central Illinois is good but spotty. East Central IL had one of the biggest replant years ever for corn. Northern Illinois looks typical (though a little behind normal crop progress).
8. Overall there are certainly enough acres to justify the USDA June 30 report. I would call the crop 10 days behind normal overall. Mid-July weather will be critical for heat especially. If we remain cool, I expect this crop to be average overall. All bets are off if it gets hot.
9. One comment on soybeans. They are small; I get it. Even the early planted soybeans look smaller than we would expect for this time of year. However soybeans have an incredible ability to make up for lack of height or maturity. I would suggest that with an additional 6 million acres we have little chance to hit the trend line yield; it doesn't matter. There are so many acres that total production is a BIG number that could be problematic on the World supply demand sheets.
10. Thanks to everyone who followed along and tweeted/messaged at us. It is a grind to see that many fields in so many miles. WE appreciate all of the encouragement and hope that you all found something interesting in our reports.