2012 corn yields suffered significantly from drought
The National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) recently released county yields for corn and soybeans for 2012. These yields confirm that the drought significantly lowered 2012 production, with extremely low yields being prevalent in southern Illinois.
Corn yields were more impacted than soybean yields. With county yield estimates, Group Risk Income Plan with the harvest price option (GRIP-HR) can be estimated. Most counties will have GRIP-HR payments for corn, with many counties having large payments. Fewer counties had GRIP-HR payments for soybeans.
Illinois corn yields were extremely low, with some of the lowest corn yields in southern Illinois (see Figure 1 as well as Appendix Table 1 for yields). The county with the lowest corn yield was Marion County, having a yield of 19 bushels per acre. There were five counties with corn yields in the 20 bushel range, all of which are located in southern Illinois: Washington (21 bushel per acre, Perry (23 bushels), Richland (27 bushels), Jasper (29 bushels), and Fayette (29) counties. Obviously, the 2012 drought had a devastating impact on yields in southern Illinois.
Central Illinois also had low yields, with three areas particularly hard hit. In western Illinois, near the Mississippi River, there were several counties with below 90 bushel yields: Adams (76 bushels), Schuyler (76 bushels), and Brown (87 bushels) Counties. Logan and Menard Counties in mid-central Illinois had yields of 97 bushels per acre. In east-central Illinois, Ford County had a 64 bushel yield and Livingston County had an 83 bushel yield.
The highest corn yields generally were in western Illinois, centered around Mercer County. Mercer County had a 180 bushel per acre yield.
While not exceptional, Illinois soybean yields were not as poor as Illinois corn yields (see Figure 2). There were many counties in northern and central Illinois that averaged over 50 bushels per acre. Most counties in southern Illinois had yields above 25 bushels per acre. Carroll County in northwest Illinois had the highest soybean yield of 59 bushels per acre. Washington County in southern Illinois had the lowest county yield of 22 bushels per acre.
There were six counties that had average soybean yields that higher than average county corn yields, an unusual occurrence. All these counties were located in southern Illinois and included Cumberland (43 bushel soybean yield versus 34 bushel corn yield), Fayette (35 bushel soybean yield versus 39 bushel corn yield), Jasper (39 bushel soybean yield versus 29 bushel corn yield), Marion (28 bushel soybean yield versus 19 bushel corn yield), Richland (27 bushel soybean yield versus 26.5 bushel corn yield), and Washington Counties (22 bushel soybean yield versus 21 bushel corn yield).