Welcome to day two of the Farms.com Risk Management U.S. Corn Belt Crop Tour. It’s Saturday, June 27th and it’s a rainy day. We started in Ohio – sunny – but it’s been cloudy and rainy with flash floods since. We’re in front of a soybean field east of highway 144 near Rushville Indiana, and the state of Indiana is looking a bit better but again, compared to what we saw last year, nothing like last year in the state of Indiana, including the state of the corn. It looks like these beans were probably planted late. There seems to be some issues with spraying – some disease pressure due to wet weather. Again, these crop conditions have to start to change. It needs to stop raining, we need to start to get some heat. Just to give you a little bit of a background on Indiana and the last USDA Crop Progress Report. The USDA stated that soys in the very poor to poor category jumped 5%-10%. Soys in the good to excellent down 10% from 70-60. Corn jumped 2% in the very poor to poor to 7%. Good to excellent dropped 8% to 70%. Soft red winter wheat jumped 10% very poor to poor, and good to excellent down 15%. So we’ve got to continue down the road and we’ll keep you posted in the state of Indiana.
We’re now in front of a corn field. We’re travelling north on highway 44 near Manilla, Indiana. And we’re finally starting to see a little bit more consistency in the corn. This is some of the best corn we’ve seen this far after travelling through Ohio. But again it’s not quite what I saw last year in Indiana. By almost July 1st last year in Indiana we had corn that was tasseling. It was much taller and we had ears. Despite the early planning this year, wet weather probably delaying and stalling some of the growth of this crop, but it looks lush and green.
We're still travelling north on highway 67 near Muncie, Indiana and folks, this is not a bin buster. This is a bean field. I’m almost knee deep in water. This is night and day compared to last year.
We're now south of Covington, Indiana travelling towards Terre Haute and we’re in front of an average corn field, and we’re with Ken Kerr from Pride Seed.
Moe: “Ken, I really want to thank you for your time and for joining us on our tour thus far. Unfortunately he has to leave early on our tour but I wanted to get his thoughts on what he saw and some of his conclusions. Ken, we’ve seen a lot of ugly fields and a lot of moisture. What are your thoughts?”
Ken: “You hit it right on the head. This crop in general from Toledo, Ohio swinging down to Columbus, Cincinnati and across through Indianapolis. Indianapolis is usually such a good production area. Probably the most disappointing driving 28 across there from Muncie, Anderson and across to Preoria. Just too much water and I always refer to June as a crop establishment month. It looks like there’s a lot of acres that unestablished themselves in the last 3 weeks. And we’ve heard that from farmers and the ones we’ve talked to. So many fields looked so good 7-10 days ago and have really deteriorated. Yellow, water logged, not getting oxygen to the roots, and what remains to be seen is how those acres recover and the next 7-10 day forecast from what you and I have looked at doesn’t really show that much for the recovery. Soybeans, it really is clear there’s two different planting windows on soybeans. There’s the one they’re able to get in, which is I think is a good chunk of the acres, they were able to get in in good shape and then it looks like it’s been a struggle from there, and definitely getting herbicide on has been a huge struggle for these guys on soybeans. We’ve even heard on corn acres where post applied nitrogen is not on, and we’re talking fields that are 4-5 feet tall in some cases. One case this morning, 6 foot tall corn that doesn’t have any herbicide on it yet. They can’t get into the field, so there’s some huge challenges there for sure and they’re all going to translate to some degree of yield loss.”
Moe: “So do you think as an agronomist that the crops are moving backwards?”
Ken: “Yeah, going backwards is one of those great terms that people like to use. I don’t like to use the term ‘going backwards’, but certainly stalled is the way to put it. Water logging, a crop biologist will tell you, basically stalls the advancement of the crop towards maturity. And of course there’s other acres that are sitting on top of tiles. We’ve seen a pile of tile run acres in both corn and beans. So acres where the water could get away soon enough, they look fantastic and just make everything else look worse, hence the term going backwards. So they’re definitely stalled, could be some pollination issues there. One of the things we saw north of Indianapolis quite a bit was such water logged soils and green healthy corn from our thighs to 6 feet tall. Going to struggle now with lodging issues because the ground is so water logged. So there’s some issues there for sure.”
Moe: “One last question, Ken. You know last year rain made grain and there’s going to be a lot of arguments that all this moisture is going to make grain. Do you agree with that statement?”
Ken: “To some degree I agree with that statement. Historically rain has made grain. Critical times of course, but in general rain makes grain. I drive around and I see on this tour, the last two days we’ve seen some acres that are just black-green. Beautiful dark green colour. Even though they may be a bit uneven, there’s no question rain, and especially warm rains and warm soil temps, they flush nitrate up into the plant. Even though those fields, if they’re entirely green right now, even though they might be a bit uneven, there’s phenomenal yield potential in there if the rest of the season cooperates. Especially the next ten days if those root zones can dry out and the weather cooperates, that corn has got a foundation for yield. If that corn is yellow, like I said, we’re un-establishing acres at this point. We’re literally looking at 8 leaf corn that is wilting down purple, yellow, water logged and choked off and dying and if that continues through this weather forecast for the next 10 days for the Midwest is even 50% correct, it’s not going to be conducive to those acres we’re covering at all. Does rain make grain on those acres? Definitely not.”
Moe: “Thanks for your time and we appreciate it very much.”
Ken: “No problem, thanks Moe”
We’re travelling south on highway 63 just south of Covington, Indiana and folks I’ve been disappointed today. We’ve just seen too much moisture do too much damage to too many soybeans and cornfields and I’m surprised now because I’m standing in front of a corn field that’s tasseled. We don’t have any ears yet but it is tasseled. That’s good news as we travel further south into Indiana but if I was to conclude for the state of Indiana, we’re almost done here for the day of June 27th. I’ve got to think that the yields are going to be down. There’s just too much moisture. There’s more moisture in the forecast, but this type of corn, probably 5-10% of the majority of what we saw was not looking good. And Indiana is one of those big I states one of the top 5 corn and soybean producing states. So at the end of the day I think it’s going to bring the average down folks. And so I think the yield going forward is going to have to drop.
I want to thank my sponsors: Pride Seeds, Tasco Dome, Penta Tillage and South West Ag Partners as well as you, the viewer. Thank you.