Illinois farmers expected to pull less crop from fields this year

Illinois’ farmers are hitting the fields and a federal estimate predicts they’ll be harvesting less than last year. (Photo Flickr/2sirius)

By Illinois Radio Network

SPRINGFIELD – As the fight for trade deals continues in Washington, Illinois farmers are expected to harvest less than last year.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released its latest Illinois crop production estimates on Thursday. The expected yields for corn dropped further.

“NASS forecasts the 2019 corn yield to be 179 bushels per acre, down thirty-one from last year’s record high yield of 210,” NASS State Statistician Mark Schleusener said.

Soybeans are projected lower as well.

“The soybean yield for Illinois is forecast at 51 bushels per acre, down 12.5 bushels from last year and down two from last month,” he said.

That’s tough news for farmers already dealing with lower commodity prices due to a stalled trade deal between the U.S. and its Canadian and Mexican neighbors.

In 2018, Illinois farms produced uncharacteristically high yields but the 2019 spring rains delayed the planting season, leaving crops late to mature. Now, farmers have a smaller window to harvest before winter sets in.

Indigo Agriculture estimated that Illinois and several other states’ average bushel per acre yield for corn and soybeans were 12% and 18% behind the average, respectively.

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