Illinois farmers expect lower corn, soybean yields

A couple of Illinois farmers say harvest is still a few weeks away, but they’re certain yields won’t come close to 2022. Jim Campion farms in the north-central part of the state. “I can see us being 5% less on corn, maybe 10%,” he says. “There’ll be some spots where it’s going to be a lot less.  Your clay soils or timber soils that really got hurt by those dry stretches in June. But the thing we don’t have this year is pond holes, drowned-out spots, most everything we planted came up.”

He tells Brownfield his soybeans have struggled. “There are a lot of aborted pods on the top,” he says. “Especially if next week’s forecast materializes, you’re going to see a lot of those top pods start to abort. And even just the stress on pod set, I’ve been seeing a lot of two-bean pods up top and not the clusters like we’re used to seeing in years past when we had really good bean yields.”

AUDIO: Jim Campion, Stark County Illinois farmer

Rob Schaffer farms in Woodford and McLean counties – and is about 50 miles southeast as the crow flies from Campion’s farm. He says his crops are a different story.  “They look good,” he says. “We’ve had water, we’ve had heat, obviously last week was really bad. It’s beautiful this week and then next week is supposed to get hot again. So it’s going to mature the crop, and it should be a timely harvest.”

He says he does have some concerns about how this next round of heat will impact soybeans.  “It may make the beans smaller and we want bigger beans because that means more yield,” he says.  “We’ll just have to see what nature Mother Nature gives us. Hopefully, she’ll be nice to us, but I got a feeling she’s going let us know summer’s not over yet.”

AUDIO: Rob Schaffer, Woodford County Illinois farmer

Campion says he expects to start harvest around the third week of September, Schaffer says it could be sooner rather than later depending on next week’s heat wave. 

Brownfield interviewed Campion and Schaffer at the 2023 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, IL

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