Driving to Indianapolis
Last Thursday we drove from Faribault to see our son Steve in Indianapolis. We were able to avoid Chicago by heading to Mason City, then southeast to the Quad Cities and across Illinois to Indianapolis. Steve lives in a suburb of Indianapolis called Plainfield. The bean field in the picture is right next to his condo and the corn field is on the road he drives on to downtown Indianapolis. It takes 20 minutes to drive from a corn and bean field to downtown Indianapolis.
Driving across the heart of Iowa I saw a lot of very productive farmland. Big fairly flat fields of corn and soybeans. However, almost all the way across Iowa you could see it had been quite dry. From the road you could see pockets of drought stresses corn and nice looking corn right next to it. I am sure those pockets had lighter soil with less water holding capacity. There was just not enough moisture to carry the crop for the long periods with little rain.
The fields were quite impressive driving across Illinois. We drove through what was my perception of great land that was meant to grow corn and beans. The fields were very large and flat with heavy black soil. Going across Illinois the corn and beans looked quite even compared to the variability in Iowa. The Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour projected the corn yield in Iowa and Illinois to be lower that last year. I saw the tour pegged the national corn yield at about 167 bushel an acre. Now all we need is for the USDA to drop the corn yield another 5 or 6 bushel an acre and maybe prices will improve!