Illinois corn and soybean crops shrunk by 20% last season. The U.S. Department of Agriculture released final numbers for the 2019 growing season yesterday and Illinois’ two major crops dropped significantly.
According to the report, production of soybeans dropped 18.6% and corn dropped 20.4% from 2018. Farmers harvested just over 1.8 billion bushels of corn, down from more than 2.2 billion the year before. Soybean production decreased from around 667 million bushels to just over 532 million.
Corn production was the worst its been since 2012 and soybean production had its worst year since 2013.
Wetter-than-normal planting and growing conditions are to blame for last year’s stunted production. January through June was the wettest first six months on record in Illinois, according to the state climatologist’s office. Record spring rain and periods of untimely rain during the fall harvest season forced late harvests across the state. Only 93 percent of Illinois’ corn crop was harvested by the end of November, according to USDA figures, the lowest total in a decade.
Despite the difficult planting season, Illinois produced the most soybeans of any state and was the second-largest corn producer. Nationally, soybean production was down 20% and corn production was down 5%.
With the USMCA soon to be signed as well as crop insurance programs and trade aid payments for the season, farmers in the state were able to have some of the down year offset by aid.