2021 US Corn Belt Crop Tour



2021 Summary of the State of Iowa

Day 10-12: July 13-15, 2021

10th Annual US Corn Belt Crop Tour Summary of the State of Iowa

The 2021 10th Annual U.S. Corn Belt Crop tour in the state of Iowa started on day 10, July 13th, and ended on day 12, July 15th, 2021. On July 13th, we travelled northeast from Sioux City, south to Fort Dodge & Ames, west to Carroll, before heading east once again and north into Des Moines, Iowa. On July 14th, we travelled northeast to Strawberry Point, south to Manchester and back to Waterloo where we encountered a rainstorm with tornado damaging winds. On July 15th,we traveled northwest to Rochester, MN. All three days were sunny, partly cloudy with temps in the 21-26 C.

Northwest Iowa was behind due to dry weather but received timely rains. The "garden spot” is central IA, north of Fort Dodge. Planting season started dry in this area but plenty of moisture has fallen since. The largest producing county, Kossuth, remains too dry.

The 2020 Derecho hit central-southwest quadrant of Iowa was looking good but southeast was moving backwards with too much moisture. They received over 15 inches in 2 weeks but have since turned dry with yellow beans and wet holes in corn.

Northeast Iowa was dry but finally got some timely rains as a storm rolled through near Waterloo on July 14. No stress showing but early planted corn looks the best with lots of wind damage a very large area with 40% of the corn tasselled.

Thank you to Mike Pearson and John Field from Fort Dodge and Nick Eike from Manchester for their valuable time and insights. Thank you also to the team at Farmers Savings Bank for setting up a 'Meet the Lenders' producer meeting in Strawberry Point, Iowa.

Moe Agostino & the team from Farmers Savings Bank

Iowa is ranked the #1 corn and #2 soybean producing state in the U.S. 2016 was Iowa’s record corn yield at 203, as well for soybeans at 60. This compares to 2020 at 178 and 53 respectively. Farmers planted 3.68% less corn acres in 2021 and 5.3% more soybean acres. Corn crop conditions in Iowa stand at 68% good-excellent and 6% very poor to poor. Soybean crop conditions stand at 66% good-excellent and 7% very poor to poor as of July 19th, 2021. Topsoil moisture is rated 67% adequate to surplus and 33% short to very short. Subsoil moisture is no better at 48% adequate to surplus and 53% very short to short.

90-Day Precipitation Departure from Normal as of July 23, 2021

State of Iowa 90 Day precipitation map

State of Iowa Drought Classification Maps

To conclude, there are too many issues in Iowa. It's average at best with a yield estimate of 178 (2020) to 200. Record was 203 in 2016. Need a great finish for grain fill or it will be something smaller. Markets need to focus on the Dakotas not the “I” states. We rank the state 7.0 out of 10.

State of Iowa Image Collage

Thank You to our proud prize sponsors Azotic North America and Empire Weather.

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About Iowa
Number of farms
360 acres
Average size of an Iowa farm
30,600,000 acres
Land in Iowa farms
Iowa leads the US in hog and egg production
Over 147 million pounds of cheese are made in Iowa per year
Iowa ranks 2nd in the US, in red meat production
In the U.S., Iowa has the most acres of land enrolled in the continuous CRP sign-up, trees, grasses and soil on CRP land removed an estimated 17 million metric tons of carbon annually from the atmosphere
13,200,000 acres
Corn acres intended in 2021, -3% vs. 2020

178 bu/acre
Corn yield in 2020, -20.0 bu/acre vs. 2019
9,800,000 acres
Soybean acres intended in 2021, +4% vs. 2020

53 bu/acre
Soybean yield in 2020, -2.0 bu/acre vs. 2019
Wheat acres intended in 2021

NA bu/acre 
Wheat yield in 2021


2021 US Corn Belt Tour
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