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July 9, 2019

Trip Report - Northern Illinois - July 5, 2019

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

We took a short trip through northern Illinois over the weekend to see how the crops were progressing. We traveled through basically DeKalb, Kane, and Kendall counties, which are west of Chicago.

My first impression was how many fields that had not been planted this spring. They were everywhere, you couldn't drive a mile down the road without seeing an empty field. In some places there were no crops planted on both sides of the road.

A number of the fields that were not planted had been disked, either to control the weeds or maybe in preparation to plant a cover crop. The weather was very hot and humid and there were light showers in the area, so that is probably why we did not see any field activity or spraying.

My second impression was how late the crops were in their development. The tallest corn we saw was maybe thigh-high. The shortest corn was about the top of your shoes with the average corn height maybe half way up to your knees. A few fields with the tallest corn had closed the rows, but the vast majority of the corn is a couple of weeks away from closing the rows. The plant populations appeared to be normal and most of the taller corn had a good color. Some of the shorter corn still had a pale green color. Needless to say, there were no tassels anyplace and there won't be any tassels for several more weeks.

The soybeans appeared to be even more delayed than the corn. The tallest soybeans we saw were maybe 4-5 inches tall with the majority of the soybeans 3-4 inches tall. There were also a lot of soybeans just emerging. The soybeans looked OK if it was the middle of May! They did not look OK for the end of the first week of July. The soybean development was about the equivalent of double crop soybeans. The rows probably will not be covered for at least another 2-3 weeks and these soybeans will end up being much shorter than normal.

We did not see any standing water, but we did see a lot of holes in the fields where water had been standing. That was the case for both corn and soybeans.

My overall impression was that the crops were more delayed than I expected. The corn looked OK if it had been June 1st, but it was obvious that the corn was a month or more behind in its development. I thought the soybeans were even more delayed. They looked like it should be mid-May, not early July!