2018 in Review: Yields Vary, but Overall Exceed Expectations

Corn photos from MI Corn College 2014. ( Aimee Cope )

Corn and soybean yields soared in 2018 and while they didn’t exceed records, they did impress.

However, the year wasn’t without its challenges—parts of the Midwest were under drought conditions, while the eastern Midwest endured excessive rainfall. Not to mention the excessive rainfall farmers endured during harvest.

Corn yield in 2018 hit 176.4 bu. per acre, just .2 bu. below the record yield set in 2017, according to University of Illinois. Counties in Nebraska, east Iowa and central Illinois helped drive high yields with county-wide averages of more than 220 bu. per acre.

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Take a look at county-level deviations from trend line yield.

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While soybeans didn’t exceed 2016 records, they did hit 51.6 bu. per acre, just .3 bu. below the record. According to Illinois, 29 counties had average county-level yields more than 70 bu. per acre in Nebraska and Illinois.

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Below trend yields were found in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

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