hands holding a telescope looking to the future

Much of the 2020 crop has just been harvested, but it's never too early to discuss crop diseases in the forecast for 2021. 

Did you come here thinking you might actually get some idea of what diseases will prove problematic next year? Good. Am I going to give you specific diseases for which to watch out? No. But I do want to tell you about a concept that will make disease prediction in 2021 easier: the plant disease triangle. 

corn seeds, soybean seeds, and grain storage bins.

Needless to say, we have had an extremely atypical growing season in 2019. A prolonged planting window due to relentless rains, with many fields not planted until June, have resulted in many higher-than-average grain moisture levels at harvest. Observing elevated harvest moisture on a widespread basis throughout Illinois can have some inadvertent ramifications for grain storage. Please consider this following hypothetical chain of events: 

A combine harvesting soybean plants

There is no doubt that the 2019 growing season has been full of ups and downs. First there were the relentless rain events that delayed planting in the spring. Next we had an extended period without any rainfall late in the summer. And then, when it was about time to think about getting out in the fields to start harvesting, another round of consistent rain. We simply could not catch a break.