I-80 Harvest Tour Northern IL: “I Think We’ll Have an ‘OK’ Yield

USDA says 4% of the corn crop and 1% of the soybean crop has been cut in Illinois in its Crop Progress report. Both are behind the 5-year-average.

Some farmers in Manhattan, Illinois are just getting started for harvest too.

Dave Kestel, located in Manhattan, Illinois, is pretty upbeat.

"Always optimistic, always,” says Kestel."This is going to be awesome. We're going to have great yields. That’s just my mentality."

Sure, it's his personality but he hopes his yields will reflect it this year.


"All of our agronomists are telling us [how] if you want to get beans to that next yield level, you [have to] get them in the ground early and use a real, full-season soybean. So, I did!"

Kestel says this year is the earliest he’s planted soybeans in his career. He hopes it pays off too.

“April 20, it was,” says Kestel. “I don’t know, [that’s] two to three weeks earlier than I have ever planted beans.”

Then, the rain came of nearly 10 inches in May. After that, less than an inch of rain fell during August.

The aftermath shown in some of his fields.

“There [are] quite a few pods on every node, just not the four bean pods,” says Kestel.

He says there's yield loss in his area. How much is the question.

"I think we will have an 'OK' yield,” says Kestel. “It's not going to be a bin-buster like we were set up for the first of August."

USDA says in its September Crop Production Report the national average corn yield could be 178.5 bushels per acre. For soybeans, that number is 51.9 bushels per acre. Both are record highs. Those numbers could be even higher in Illinois and the weather may hurry things along this week.


“Temperatures this week [are] looking above normal out in the West and out in the Northern tier and Northern Great Lakes,” says AgDay meteorologist Matt Yarosewick.

Kestel should find out how his crops did shortly but believes a dry August will take the top end off  yields.

He says his corn has some replant. Some spots were planted three times, all due to those May rains.

"I replanted close to 20% of my corn,” says Kestel. “[I replanted] just holes here and there and everywhere, no whole fields."

As this optimist now starts to harvest, he yearns for yields to show if early planting pays.

“I just hope for the best and just deal with it when it happens,” says Kestel.