Illinois corn farmers are on track to see their worst yields in more than 20 years.
The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reports planted area is 10 .7 million acres, or 3 percent less than last year. The corn yield is forecast at 181 bushels per acre, down 27 bushels from last year. And production is down 17 percent from 2018.
Illinois State Statistician Mark Schleusener said those would be the worst reported numbers since 1998. He said there was some isolated flooding in some parts of the state, but the biggest impediment for farmers this year were the torrents of rain every few days during planting season.
“Fields really didn’t get dried out enough so that farmers could actually plant their crops. As a result, we’ve got fewer acres of corn in the ground in 2019 that we’ve had in quite some time," he said.
Soybean production is forecast at 548 million bushels this year, down 22 percent from 2018. The weather conditions have also impacted the corn condition. Most of this year’s crop is rated fair or good, but just four percent is considered excellent. Twenty-one percent is considered very poor or poor quality.
“The condition of the corn crop, as of Sunday the 11th, not as good as we’ve had in previous years," Schleusener said.
Soybean conditions were in a similar boat.
The USDA declared all 102 Illinois counties an agriculture disaster last week.