Statistician expects record harvest

Corn harvest
As fair weather takes over to allow farmers into their fields, the state’s ag statistician projects a record harvest for corn and soybeans. (WJBC file photo)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – The state and nation are expected to set records in corn and soybean yields this fall.

The September forecast from the USDA is for Illinois to yield 213 bushels of corn and 66 bushels of soybeans per acre. The national numbers are 181.3 bushels of corn and 52.8 bushels of soybeans per acre.

The Illinois state statistician for the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, Mark Schleusener, says the main reason is the weather.

“I have not stopped mowing my lawn since the Fourth of July,” Schleusener tells WJBC News. “That is wonderful for the soybeans. It puts plenty of pods on the plant and helps fill out those pods to a good weight. For corn, it’s also helping to fill the kernels that are on the cob. It’s not making more corn, but it’s making each of those kernels have a good chance to fill out and get to their maximum size.”

For production, Illinois would be Number One in soybeans, at 716 million bushels. 4.69 billion is the national figure. Illinois would be second only to Iowa in corn, with 2.3 billion bushels. The forecast is for 14.8 billion bushels nationally.

Dave Dahl can be reached at 


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…