Hello to All. Exist the following News: http://www.dtnprogressivefarmer.com...&blogEntryId=8a82c0bc3865298c013876621f5b00bb . ---------- Wednesday 07/11/2012 An ECB Road Trip I've been out on vacation the past week. My wife and I drove to the Washington, D.C. area to visit our son who is working there. And, as you might guess, the trip included a lot of attention to crop conditions in the Eastern Corn Belt -- or as much attention as can be given at 65-70 mph. We made a loop through the region -- going out and back on Interstate 80 across Iowa both ways. But, on the way out we crossed Illinois and western/central Indiana on I-74, then took Interstate 70 from Indianapolis east through Dayton and Columbus, Ohio. On the way back, we took the more northern route on I-80 across northern Ohio, northern Indiana and through north-central Illinois, plus a side trip into southwestern Michigan. As you might guess, we saw some ugly-looking fields -- there is just no other way to describe it. Going across Illinois on I-74, my impression was that corn was what I would classify as "OK" west of Bloomington. But the Bloomington area on east was much more stressed with a lot of uneven height in fields and signs of leaves curling. Returning on I-80, conditions were uniformly better. Of course, the north-central portion of Illinois caught some rains this season that areas farther south did not. Overall, however, the effect of this season's heat is apparent in that the plant color appears to be somewhat less than 100% because of this season's heat and dryness. Then, in Indiana, what a shock to seeâentire fields that were firing, starting to turn brownish-white. And soybean fields that looked like late May in terms of the plant development. When the overwhelming numbers on poor-very poor are reported in Indiana, I can see why. I will say that there were some fields that appeared to be doing better during our return leg, but again there was a lot of uneven growth. One stark contrast hit me as we were going through the Elkhart area. On the south side of the highway was a cornfield under center-pivot irrigation. It looked pretty goodâexcept for the corners, which were decimated by drought having not had the benefit of water. And, on the north side of the highway, a non-irrigated field looked exactly like the pivot corner did -- on the way to being burnt to a crisp. I would say the crops in Ohio are similar to western and north-central Illinois, in that they are in fair to good condition; however, there are some fields that show the uneven development I expect to see when there is a lack of rainfall along with hot temperatures. And, along with the other Eastern Corn Belt states, soybeans to me showed a lack of real bushiness (for lack of a better term). Iowa fields are in the best overall condition of the states we traversed -- thanks mainly to how the fields west of Des Moines are doing thanks to -- again -- some beneficial rains here and there during the past six weeks. But eastern Iowa has some fields that are having dryness issues similar to Illinois. And, as with the other states, I did not see any soybean fields that showed the real healthy development and heavy canopy that I would expect at this time of the season. Other brief impressions -- fields in southwestern Michigan were similar to western and north-central Illinois. Michigan has had a few showers on occasion, and has escaped the worst of the heat wave. It certainly shows in the way crops look. Also, in the eastern U.S., there is a lot of unevenness to fields in Maryland and southern Pennsylvania. Some fields looked great while others showed a similar condition to some of what we saw in Indiana. However, a heavy rain shower Sunday night and Monday morning perked the crops up notably. This is by no means a scientific look -- but I found this to be an instructive drive. It offered some definite visual support to what we have been discussing for almost two months now regarding the very harsh impact of the Drought of 2012. Follow Bryce on Twitter: @BAndersonDTN Posted at 9:12AM CDT 07/11/12 by Bryce Anderson ---------- Kind Regards, George Kanellopoulos.