MONTICELLO — Corn yields of 200 bushels per acre would be well below last year’s record 241.8 in Piatt County, but it wouldn’t be a horrible outcome for a growing season that included the latest planting in recent memory, followed by a dry summer.
“It’s not bad,” said Topflight Grain Cooperative Merchandiser Derrick Bruhn, who is predicting average yields in the neighborhood of 200 to 210 bushels per acre after touring crops this week. That compares to a Piatt County average of around 220.
“It’s the type of thing that Piatt County soils are very forgiving. We can withstand more because we have the capacity to hold moisture, and we have more drainage tile than a lot of places,” he said.
Bruhn did see more tip-back than usual on late planted corn, meaning the ear is more exposed at the end and has less kernels.
His annual tour also showed a crop that is less mature than a typical August. That gives some hope that kernels will be able to add a little more weight by the time they are harvested.
“The cool temperatures now and the cool temperatures in the near future are slowing down the maturity, but it could mean good test weights,” Bruhn said.
Soybean yields are also expected to come in about 10 to 15 percent below the record numbers of 2018, when Piatt County farmers averaged 73.2 bushels per acre. Bruhn thinks this year could still end up with 60 to 65 average yields for beans.
Topflight officials will conduct a formal presentation of the crop tours at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Lion’s Club Community Center in Bement. Scott Irwin from the University of Illinois will also speak on the markets and what to expect for this fall.