(The Center Square) – With the fall harvest underway in Illinois, projections for corn and soybean yields are optimistic.
That wasn’t the case in June when much of the state was experiencing drought. In early July, over 92% of Illinois counties dealt with drought conditions, placing the state as #2 worst in the country, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Central Illinois Soybean Association Envoy Karen Corrigan said it appears the state’s corn crop deteriorated as the summer went on.
“I felt like the early corn was going to be the best anyway because it was the best looking, whereas the later corn was very uneven and nonuniform, so I expect the yields are going to be dropping off here,” Corrigan said during a recent Illinois Soy Advisor podcast.
Southern Illinois Soy Envoy Kelly Robertson said the difference in yields is very noticeable, even in fields that are located near each other.
“A lot of guys comment that there is a 100 to 150 bushel difference between two fields with the same variety planted on the same day,” said Robertson. “It just depends on what section you’re in and when it rained.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), about half of the state’s corn and soybean crop has been harvested.
Last year, Illinois led the nation in soybean production and was second behind Iowa in corn production. The USDA expects Illinois to hold onto those positions this year.
Last year, Illinois accounted for the top five counties in the U.S. with the highest corn production. McLean County held the leading spot for the country’s corn yield, with around 71 million bushels of corn.
Illinois soybean farmers produced 677 million bushels last year.