USDA is projecting a record crop in the U.S. this year for corn and soybeans. Illinois plays a key role in that forecast. USDA is forecasting a state average yield of 200 bushels per acre. That’s a hike of 25 bushels per acre from last year’s August yield projection.
The saying ‘rain makes grain,’ may actually be true this year for Illinois.
“We’re getting a good soaking today,” said Roger Miller, a farmer in Saint Joseph, Ill.
If you ask a Central Illinois grower about this season’s crop, you may receive a response like this.
“I can say we’re in a very fortunate area here in Champaign County,” said Miller.
Roger Miller said he has yet to put the lawn mower away if that’s any indication of the crop potential.
“This will be year number three of well above average yields for this area,” says Miller.
However, members of the local elevator went on its own crop tour. They said while numbers are very good, they are seeing some unexpected problems in the state.
“Those numbers we calculated are still very good numbers, but there is some tip-back," said Miller. "We’re also seeing shallow kernel depths and nitrogen deficiencies."
“Overall, it’s going to be a good crop, but it’s not as phenomenal as we thought,” said Mike Kuhns, customer service manager of Thomasboro Premier Cooperative, Inc.
Despite concerns, Kuhns said the elevator is prepared. He said he’s moved a tremendous amount of grain since May.
“Going into May, it was quite bothersome on my end that we weren’t going to have room the way things were going," said Kuhns. "As of now, we’ve moved a bunch of grain. We’re still moving grain the next three to four weeks. We’ll go into harvest relatively empty."
“We were dry in June until about June 22," said Ron Haase, a farmer from Gilman, Ill. "Then, we have not been short of rain.”
Haase is also expecting a large crop.
“There’s tip-back but there’s still enough kernels and potential out there," said Haase. "It’s maybe not as high as I thought but it could still be a record crop at least for our personal operation."
Haase has that belief because he had his share of drowned out areas last year that still produced a crop. He doesn’t have the water damage now.
“We had 70 bushel per acre beans last year," said Haase. "I’m expecting at least equal to that or better."
Growers hope those moderate rains continue so the crop they’re so shy to talk about may grow a little larger.