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Farm Numbers Project Tough Harvest Ahead

Area farmers are getting real-life reminders of the tough harvest ahead here in 2012.

Corn Growers Association members in Kankakee, LaSalle, Livingston and McLean counties recently released yield estimate results.  Some figures show estimate that farmers could be harvesting up to 35 percent less corn compared to 2011.

The Kankakee County Corn Growers Association released its survey estimates this last week, estimating a yield of about 123.4 bushels an acre.  An estimated 200 fields were surveyed by teams of association members. 

The number could be the lowest since 1995 when the yield brought 109 bushels an acre.

Figures released in Kankakee show field estimates ranging from about 80 to 180 bushels an acre.

The 1988 drought year produce disastrous numbers at 45 bushels per acre countywide. 

This year’s drought has stirred up big changes in crop prospects nationwide.  And the low yields are likely to create higher prices.

The USDA numbers are about 116 bushels an acre for Illinois.

Soy Capital Ag Services sampled 162 farms, representing every township in McLean county, earlier this month.

The average yield expected this year is 112 bushels per acre, compared to the estimated 167 bushels per acre in 2011, and 182 bushels in 2010. Only 6 percent of locations returned an estimate of more than 185 bushels per acres, compared to 30 percent in 2011.

McLean County’s actual corn yield averaged 159.6 bushels last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The ongoing drought this summer was to blame for this year’s estimates.

Yield estimates help farmers and others who purchase and sell grain to prepare for harvest, which will be ramping up in the next several weeks.

Some organizations didn’t conduct an official sampling this year because of the extensive damage to fields. But managers collected enough information from walking through fields in Central Illinois to derive an estimate of about 100 bushels per acre.

94.1 FM, WGFA