Yield expectations are pretty high heading into this harvest season after last week’s Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour.
The area counties of Vermilion, Iroquois, Livingston, Ford and McLean had an average corn yield of 202.4 bushels per acre. Illinois soybeans didn’t look bad either – with high pod counts at various locations.
“We anticipated we would see that,” Brian Grede, editor of Pro Farmer newsletter, told me during the recent tour stop in Bloomington.
The 2016 Illinois average ended up being 193.50, which is well ahead of the three-year average of 179.69. This year’s Illinois pod count in a 3x3 square averaged 1318.09, which is also up from the three-year average of 1201.87.
Pioneer field agronomist Kelli Bassett told tour participants that observations between 2014 and this year were similar. For those of who you may not remember, 2014 saw nice yields in this area. She noted the corn is still very green for a fairly mature crop. That signifies healthy plants which weren’t under too much stress this season. We have not season the nitrogen loss or firing like we have the past few seasons.
According to Bassett, some soybeans are podded higher from the ground this year because the plants are so tall.
“Big beans don’t always mean big yields,” she noted.
Bassett came to the conclusion that we have a “pretty good” crop across the part of the state she works in.
Corn silage is now happening in the area and, any week now, we will see a combine or two try to harvest corn out in the field. We anxiously await those early yield results as this could be a bin-busting year out in the countryside.