Spent more than a few hours over the last 9 days getting a roadside view of the corn and soybean crops in most of Illinois and parts of Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee. I even got to stop at a couple of places to get some first hand input from growers. On the whole the Illinois corn crop looks very good from south of Bloomington all the way down to the border. Reports out of the University are that yields may surprise and that we could see an above average harvest if mom natures cooperates through the harvest. The crop is a little more spotty as you head to southeast Missouri because of the late planting and then a very dry summer (not much rain since mid-July)Things improve once you swing into the eastern parts of Tennessee and Kentucky and growers in that area say they are looking forward to good although not great yields.
Soybeans are a different story, not very optimistic reports out of Missouri where the percentage of poor to very poor beans have risen since the end of August. Illinois again had the best looking crop, but unlike the corn there is still concern about how large the crop is going to be and most growers said they feel less confident in the strength of the bean crop now than back in early August.
The best beans looked to be in Kentucky, although some growers are better off and further ahead than others. And just in travelling these four states plus Wisconsin makes you realize why forecasters are more than a bit anxious for Thursday's September crop production report.
Here in Northeastern Wisconsin questions remain on just how much corn will be made for grain. Silage production expectations are still good and some growers will be pulling the trigger soon. Still its been dry and even though its been a hot start to September, most growers are hoping to avoid an early frost. Corn does look good as you head south but things have been dry and now 33 counties are listed as being in moderate to severe drought (who would have thought after the spring and early summer we had) As for our state Soybean crop, just about everywhere state growers are still wondering if the'll see a mature crop prior to the first killing frost.
As I said a lot of attention will be paid to Thursday's September Crop Report.