USDA: Illinois corn, soybeans on track for record yields

Illinois corn and soybeans yields are on track for a record harvest, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Agricultural Statistics Service said in a report issued Tuesday.

Soybean

The soybean harvest is expected to be 675 million bushels, up 10% from the previous year.

Illinois farmers planted 10.6 million acres of soybeans, an increase of 3% from 2020. The harvest is nearly complete, at 10.55 million acres.

Based on Oct. 1 conditions, the soybean yield is at 64 bushels per acre, up four bushels per acres from the previous year.

Corn

Planted acreage is down 3% from 2020. The harvest is nearly complete, 10.8 million acres of the 11 million acres planted. But the projected yield is expected to be a record 210 bushels per acre, up 19 bushels from the previous year. Total production will be up 7%, somewhere near 2.27 billion bushels.

Alfalfa

The harvest area at 180,000 acres is down 18% from 2020. The yield as of Oct. 1 is 3.5 tons per acre, which is also a decline. Total product is 630,000 tons, down 27%.

Other hay production is 576,000 tons, which is down 7% from last year. But that is because the area planted is down 11%. The 2.4 tons per acre yield is up 0.1 tons from the previous year.

Crop conditions

The USDA also released a crop condition report, including a map that showed the impact of the drought.

Much of Carroll and Whiteside counties, for instance, showed soil moisture deviation of 20% to 30% below the historical average. Lee and Ogle counties were mostly down 10% to 20%. But some areas were spared: a portion of southern Ogle was normal and a section of Lee near the northern border was 20% to 30% over normal.

Statewide, the average temperature was 68.8 degrees, which was above normal.

Statewide, 45% of pasture was rated good, 33% fair, 12% poor and 5% very poor. Only 5% was rated excellent condition.

The quality of corn as of Oct. 10 was 20% excellent, 50% good, 23% fair, 5% poor and 2% very poor. For soybeans, it was 22% excellent, 49% good, 20% fair, 6% poor and 3% very poor.