Early Yield Results Promising

October 24, 2017

Sometimes it is great to be wrong! Yields from Central and West Central Illinois have certainly proven me wrong, and I have never been happier about it. For what it is worth, I was in good company with my predictions of average yields, at best.

As harvest has been rolling, it has become obvious that yields are much better than expected. I was one of those who felt that the USDA was greatly overestimating yields. After all, how can you have good yields when it was incredibly dry through early March and then turned to flooding rains after crops were planted which required more replanting than we had seen in many years? Our drone images revealed a lot of uneven stands, holes, washouts, etc. Then came August and September with incredibly dry weather. In fact, Springfield reported that the month of September was the driest EVER, for any month! The local newspaper indicates we are 10 to 11 inches below normal precipitation for the year. That is a recipe for average to poor yields.

So what was right? I can only offer some theories.

  • Early, timely planting. Yields seem to indicate the better yields were from the first planted crops.
  • Genetics have improved greatly over the past decades and improved seed treatment are helpful.
  • The very cool August helped to alleviate the dry weather stress. Heat would have probably reduced yields substantially.
  • A lack of disease pressure for both corn and soybeans.

We don’t really understand all the whys, but we are sure thankful for them.

Author: Allan Worrell