It was a good year on the farm, but that doesn’t mean farmers are making a lot of money. “It was a great year. We had good crops throughout the state,” says Illinois Farm Bureau President Rich Guebert. Corn will come in at 200 bushels an acre, up from 178 last year, and beans will come in at 56, up from 50, according to USDA projections. But commodity prices are down. Are farmers making money?
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“Not as much as I did last year,” says farmer Lyle Sargent of Rushville. “Even with the yield up higher, the yield’s not gonna make up for the difference in the lower commodity prices,” he said.
December corn on the Chicago Board of Trade is selling for under $4 a bushel. It was $6.50 in September 2012. Soybeans are at $10.25; they were over $15 in June of this year.
Some Illinois farmers also had trouble with soybean sudden death syndrome this year. That’s a fungus that is prevalent when conditions are cool and damp.
In terms of overall production, though, Illinois will be the nation’s No. 1 soybean state, with 551 million bushels, and with be the No. 2 state for corn, behind Iowa, with 2.3 billion bushels.