Even though a new state program is supposed to promote wheat, money may speak louder. The Illinois Farm Bureau’s John Hawkins says in determining what to plant, it’s all about money and yield. “You can make more money with corn and soybeans,” Hawkins says. “You tend to put wheat on the poorer parts of your farm, the poorer soils, because that’s where wheat kind of excels.” Those places, Hawkins says, are typically in Southern Illinois.
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Wheat brings in, Hawkins says, up to $400 an acre gross. That compares with up to $900 for soybeans and north of $1,000 for corn. With Illinois boasting the reputation of having farmland among the world’s best, Hawkins says if you can grow those crops, you should. During an appearance at the Illinois State Fair in August, the governor signed a bill setting up a “wheat development committee.”