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View from the Cab: More production success

By: Kent Casson

What is that big bright thing up in the blue sky shining down on the farm on this fine early March day? It’s our old friend Mr. Sun and he’s bringing us mild temperatures.

You could say the sun has been shining down on Central Illinois farmers as the results have been announced from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) county survey estimates for corn and soybean production.

Illinois had the top five counties in the nation for total corn production. McLean County led the way with almost 71 million bushels of corn produced. Iroquois, Livingston, LaSalle and Champaign counties were numbers two through five, respectively. Stark County had the highest average corn yield in Illinois with 240.6 bushels per acre.

Our state can also brag about having the top 11 counties nationally for soybean yields. Piatt led the country with 74.2 bushels per acre. Meanwhile, the counties of Macon, Sangamon, Scott, Logan, Tazewell, Stark, Morgan, Christian, Champaign and Woodford were numbers two through 11.

The published county estimates for corn and soybeans from NASS can be viewed at

Speaking of USDA-NASS, the agency is going through results from this winter’s Census of Agriculture. As of Feb. 27, Illinois had a 51 percent return rate and that ranked third among the 50 states. Out of all of the returns they have received so far, almost 45 percent were submitted via a secure website connection. This saves taxpayer dollars.

Illinois State Statistician Mark Schleusener says there is still time to respond to the census by mail for those farmers who haven’t done so yet or they can go online to the site

Glancing out the window looking at the sunshine and hearing the songbirds, it appears March has come in like a lamb but I worry it may go out like a lion. From all past indications, lion weather isn’t exactly ideal for getting out in the field to begin spring work. I’m not just talking planting – as many growers would like to scratch a little dirt, apply fertilizer and spray before crops go in the ground.

I just told someone the other day we have been spoiled in recent years with dry and mild spring and fall seasons allowing plenty of fieldwork to take place. Several farmers caught up on fieldwork late last fall thanks to an extended stretch of mild weather. We will see what Mother Nature throws at us here in the coming weeks and months.


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