Montgomery County corn producers can expect a significantly smaller yield than last year, according to the annual survey conducted by the local University of Illinois Extension office on Thursday, Sept. 5.
This year's yield survey predicts an average county yield of 187.5 bushels per acre–31.5 bushels per acre (14.5 percent) off last year's record 215.7 survey prediction. According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), last year's actual Montgomery County corn yield was 222.8 bushels per acre.
Even though the 187.5 prediction for this year is significantly lower than last year, it is a bit higher than the average corn yield over the past six years. Since the 2012 drought year, Extension survey predictions have averaged 184.4 bushels of corn per acre.
Dr. Talon Becker, Extension Educator from Benton who calculated this year's numbers based on the work of volunteers who actually count the kernels of corn on ears from multiple fields in each township in the county, said much of this year's smaller yield prediction is due to the smaller kernels volunteers were seeing in the field. That stems from later planting this season and some stress during pollination.
Bois D'Arc, the northern-most township in the county, was the only one with a yield prediction that topped last year's: 215.1 bushels per acre, up from the 203.4 prediction last year. Most of top yield predictions came from the Panhandle area of the county: Bois D'Arc 215.1, Pitnam 204.9, Butler Grove 202.7, Harvel 195.6, Raymond 199.0, and Rountree 193.3.
The lowest yield predictions came from the southern part of the county: Walshville 168.1, Hillsboro 177.3, South Fillmore 175.9, and Grisham 179.3.
After the field work and while raw data was being crunched into yield predictions, volunteers heard from NASS Illinois State Statistician Mark Schleusener, who said acres planted in corn and soybeans were down about three percent each in Illinois this year. Across the country, corn acres are down two percent and soybean acres are down four percent.
Sponsors for the yield survey were Montgomery County Farm Bureau, First National Bank of Litchfield, Security National Bank, and Montgomery Land Improvement.