USDA says 2013 was second-best year for corn in Illinois

By Jim McCabe on February 23 at 8:02am

The numbers are out for the 2013 crop harvest in West Central Illinois. The USDA released a county-by-county report on Thursday.

On the corn side in the West Southwest District, 142-thousand acres were planted in Morgan County. 111,500 acres were planted in Greene County, while Cass County harvested 95,100 acres. Scott County farmers took out 49,300 acres. Between the four counties, 4,500 acres went unharvested.

Mark Schleusener from the USDA says most of the unharvested acreage was probably intended for silage for beef and dairy operations. He says some rough weather during November had a “small” impact.

“Most of the corn was already harvested. I had seen some fields that were still standing, but they were blown over by the wind. That makes them very difficult for the producers to harvest, and it will knock the corn right off of it and onto the ground, where it’s impossible to harvest,” says Schleusener.

“So, in some cases, those fields may be completely lost. However, since we’re growing more than 10 million acres of corn in the state- we planted 12 million- what’s left standing after those storms is less than a rounding error.”

Morgan County led the way with 26,842,000 bushels of corn in the four-county area. Greene County was second with 18,419,000. Cass County netted 17,506,000 bushels, while Scott County had 8,292,000.

Iroquois County led the way with 360,000 acres of corn harvested out of 368,500 planted. McClean County, however, actually had more bushels of maize with 63,008,000 in 2013.

“2013 was kind of remarkable, I think. The high-end corn yield- 178 for the state average- that’s the second-highest we’ve ever gotten, and I think it was a surprise to lots of producers,” he says.

“Most of the reasons I hear were a very cool summer, in particular during pollination times, so the corn did not get stressed during the summer and was able to take full advantage of the moisture that was in the soil at that time.”

Schleusener says the state average for soybean bushels an acre was around 49.

In the local district, Morgan County saw 102,000 acres of beans harvested and planted with 5,608,000 bushels total. Cass County had 54,000 and Scott County had 45,000 acres and produced 2,782,000 and 2,349,000 bushels, respectively.

Greene County planted 99,000 acres, and 100 less were harvested. That county saw 4,794,000 bushels of soybeans produced.

McLean County was the soybean king in 2013 with 286,000 acres planted, and a thousand less harvested. The Central Illinois county produced 16,115,000 bushels of soybeans.

Schleusener says the National Agricultural Statistics Service is conducting a producer survey to ask about 2014 planting intentions. He says it will be published at the end of the month. Individual producer responses are confidential.