Farmers Surprised with Better-Than-Expected Yields

September 25, 2017 06:00 AM

As combines roll through the countryside farmers are seeing the fruits of their labor pay off—or the pain of Mother Nature and management’s final sting. For many farmers, however, the pain is minimal as yields exceed expectations.

“We’ve been really fortunate,” says Dale Hadden, corn and soybean farmer in Illinois. “We’ve harvested about 350 acres of corn and [yield] stayed in the low 200 range.”

Right now he’s harvesting corn that wasn’t replanted—he’d only expected 180 to 200 bu. per acre to serve as top end yield, and he’s beating that by 30 to 40 bu. per acre.

“We have a lot of replant, and replanted replant—that’s still pretty green and needs some time to mature. We’re not sure what we’ll pull off of that,” he adds. “We’re switching to soybeans tomorrow, a couple growers said they cut a few acres last week and were pleased with the yields—mid 60s.”

Northwest of Hadden, farmers in parts of Iowa lucked out with rain and are finding yields that meet USDA expectations.

“I’m on really light soil but we’ve been in an area of Iowa that had pretty good rain until Aug. 25,” says Iowa corn and soybean farmer Brent Judisch. “USDA had us pegged at 203 and I think they’re going to be spot on.”

Judisch hasn’t broken out the bean head just yet. Farmers south of him are seeing decent yields, but eight to 10 bu. per acre lower than last year.

Farmers in Kentucky are making their way into corn harvest to find what could be record-setting yields. “Corn is phenomenal this year,” says Quint Pottinger, farmer in Kentucky. “We had good heat and rain all through July and just kept getting those 1 to 1.5 inch rains every week and a half.”

He said that rain helped make grain, but also promoted diseases such as Southern Rust. Farmers who sprayed fungicide he expects will have stellar corn yields. However, the state had a recent cold snap that might mean soybeans aren’t quite record breaking.

“For about two weeks [we were] down into the 50s—it just shut our beans down,” Pottinger says. “We have at least another two weeks before bean [harvest].”

Back to news




Spell Check

Nebraska City, NE
9/26/2017 07:26 AM

  Awesome job guys!!! We are well on our way to $1.50 corn now. WEEEEEE, enjoy the slide down into bankruptcy. Better make sure to try to get 300 bushel corn next year so we can have $1 corn. AWESOME JOB. Farmers as a whole have the absolute best business plan as a whole. Increase your input costs marginally increase output exponentially decrease ROI Freaking brilliant. Should make the seed/fertilizer/chemical companies some bucks though, and really, as they buy all the adds in the farming magazines and on these websites, well, that IS what is important now.

Heath Greiner
Bloomfield, IA
10/30/2017 11:04 AM

  For those that are so excited for better-than-expected yields this Summer's high heat and drought has burnt Southeast Iowa yields. Going through the combine and scales at 10 to 20 at best 30 bushel an acre on Hills flat land from 30 to 50 for soybeans. Last year these averages or 50 to 70 on Hill and same to higher on flat ground. Corn 50 to 80 on hill and flat ground seeing someone 120s on flat ground. Last year corn averages on Hills or 180 to 240 and higher on flat ground. Just to put it in perspective out there. Seems like the drought did not get very much attention in the media or Ag news. We are on year 2 of below normal moisture almost at that of 50% less than normal.

Brad McKnight
Cherry Valley, AR
10/31/2017 10:59 AM

  No Adam Skinner your the stupid one! What do you really think will happen if we cut back 4%???? Well I can tell you! All inputs will rise 5%. That's not the answer either!!


Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer