(The Center Square) – The 2023 harvest has confirmed it: Illinois is still No. 1 in states that produce soybeans.
Early summer drought conditions did not portend well for the 2023 harvest. But the rains finally fell on Illinois, particularly in August when the soybeans need it the most.
“The key thing for this year–if we look at Mother Nature–would be the July and August precipitation,” said Stephanie Porter, farmer and agronomist with the Illinois Soybean Association. “We got the rain at the right time–for both corn and soybeans.”
June drought conditions had a lot of people pretty concerned. But after the Fourth of July, most areas had gotten enough moisture to save a lot of plants.
“We got the rain at the right time for the critical growth period,” Porter said.
Soybean yields in Central Illinois averaged from 70 to 80 and 90 bushels per acre, with some farmers reporting 100 bushels per acre. So “pretty darned good” in the end, after a challenging start.
“We did much better than anticipated. It’s just hard to compare it to other years,” Porter said.
In areas of the state that did not get enough rain at the right times, farmers reported averages of 50 to 60 bushels of soybeans per acre.
“It was better than expected overall–with the weather that we had,” Porter said.
A trend that the ISA was glad to see in 2023 was the number of farmers who double-cropped, putting soybeans in on top of spring wheat planted in October 2022.
“Almost every county in the state had at least one field of double-cropped beans,” Porter said.