Southwest of Storm Lake

Crop Conditions as of 9-2-20

Past Weeks Rainfall Very little rain.  Monday morning brought dark blue skies, thunder and lightning, and about a tenth of rain.
Soil Moisture Drought Monitor this week says 96% of Iowa is abnormally dry or worse.  This area rates as “moderate” to “severe” to “extreme” drought.
Temperature Night-time temps are cooling into the 50’s.  Daytime can still hit 85 to 90 degrees.
Crop Progress Crops started fading fast the past 2-3 weeks.



Crop Stage Much that I’ve looked at is early dent, or 1/4 to 1/2 milk line. Crop Stage Starting to turn yellow, a few fields starting to drop leaves.
Yield Potential Ear length has tipped back.  Kernel depth is shallow.  It will take more kernels to make a bushel. Yield Potential   Beans had great pod   development early August.  Good thing, there’s not been much to help it along since.

Corn Market

Soybean Market

Current Prices  $3.24 Current Prices  $8.92
October  $3.19 Fall Price  $8.92
Past Weeks Trend October bid has risen 23 cents in past  weeks. Past Weeks Trend October bid is 72 cents higher in past 3 weeks.


While this area missed the “derecho” wind storm on August 10th, it will still suffer considerable yield loss from earlier potential. Variability in rainfall will give a different story on yields from one mile to the next. To give you an idea, I was in a field this weekend that has averaged about 250 bushels per acre the last 4 years. Yield samples I’ve taken so far in that field say 170-200 bushels per acre. But it is hard to really estimate when the kernel size is hard to determine. Right now, we’re adjusting by about 10% for shallower kernels and lighter test weight. Beans have not had the August rains to fill the pods and put new pod clusters at the top of the plants. Some are talking 40-50 bushels per acre, but it’s pretty hard to really say since the size of the bean makes such a difference.

Grain prices are responding to falling crop conditions and continued selling to China. Flooding in China is massive and will impact their shrinking corn supply as well as feed for their rebuilding hog herd. President Xi recently told their populace to cut down on food intake and food waste. I think we can expect continued sales to China for at least the balance of 2020. The latest weekly ethanol production report shows the week of August 28 at 84% of the pre-Covid high. That’s a rebound from 49% in late April.

Lastly, interest rates have hit a very low point. Land loans are being quoted under 3% fixed rates from some sources, depending on terms.

Dennis Reyman, AFM, ARA

Crop Update Archives – Please click on the green button for our Southwest Archives page