Illinois Corn Yield Could Fall Short of Normal

As Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour scouts make their way farther into Illinois they’re seeing crop stress, but far less than what they saw the past two days. Compared to Indiana and Ohio, Illinois is in pretty good shape, but yield still might fall short of a normal year.

“In west central Illinois so far we’ve seen plant health is improved,” says Brian Grete, Pro Farmer editor. “On my route yesterday I wasn’t overwhelmed by the samples we pulled. What we saw yesterday was a little subpar, but that’s just a portion of the state and we’ll get full numbers tonight.”

“It’s not a typical year in Illinois and a lot of fields we would expect 200 bu. per acre just aren’t there,” he adds. Because of too much rain, lack of rain or a combination of the two, scouts are seeing areas of the state with yields that are falling behind average. Grete says the highest corn yield he’s seen is 197 bu. per acre in McClain County—a field that would normally yield 220 to 240 bu. per acre.

The state overall is -0.41” short on rainfall from a normal year, 0.2° F above normal temperatures and short 20 growing degree days, according to the Midwestern Regional Climate Center. USDA NASS reports 46% of corn is very poor to fair and 54% good to excellent and soybeans are 40% very poor to fair and 60% good to excellent.

If disease and insect pressure kick up, or show up more on the rest of the Crop Tour stops yields could be affected.

“The lower canopy, below the ear, we’re seeing issues there (with disease),” Grete says. “We’ve seen just a little bit [of Japanese beetle infestations] but haven’t seen anything really heavy yet.”

Tonight when scouts join together he says they’ll have a fuller picture of not only yield, but insect and diseases pressure throughout the state as well.