Soybean harvests for some farmers in Illinois are averaging about 10 bushels per acre above 2010 numbers, in spite of an unpredictable season that included heavy spring rains and average July temperatures that broke record highs. Some corn harvests are also reaching averages slightly above 2010 in spite of dealing with the same conditions.
"One of the biggest deals about this year's crop is the variability — much more so than it has been in probably 20 years," said Steve Ruh, a corn and soybean farmer in northern Illinois. "There are pockets where the corn is fantastic and soybeans are fantastic. There are pockets where it didn't rain from July Fourth on and they're struggling." Some Illinois farmers expect to beat the average 2010 corn yields, which reached 157 bushels per acre.
Farmers said they are storing crops on their farms to improve marketing returns. "I try to market at least 50% of my (corn) crop before harvest," said Ruh. "We are filling the bins here and we'll gamble with the other 50%."