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Late Planting Season, Rain, Impact Crop Estimates

By Steve Rensberry, Editor

The United States Department of Agriculture has significantly reduced it production estimate for this year’s corn crop, according to farm bureau reports and other industry experts. The reduction was announced last week.

Experts cited widespread flooding and planting delays as the main cause, with the U.S agency reducing its estimate by a total of 1.4 billion bushels.

Senior Market Analyst Dale Durchholz was quoted by the RFD Radio Network as expressing shock, noting that many people expected the USDA to reduce the expected number of bushels per acre by 3 or 4, when it ended up reducing it by 10. The current yield is estimated at 166 bushels per acre.

The USDA estimates wheat production is Illinois this year to be about 560,000 acres, which is relatively unchanged from last year.

The loss of business with China also impacting soy exports, which are estimated to be down by about 75 million, according to a report published by FarmWeekNow.

Farmers in Illinois planted approximately 38 percent of their corn crop and 35 percent of their bean crop from May 26 to June 10, according to the site, with corn currently 73 percent complete, and beans 49 percent, both behind last year’s numbers.

Last week, Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebett Jr., along with several directors and the board and staff members, traveled to Washington D.C with other farm bureau representatives to discuss policy and the political climate with U.S. Democratic senators from Illinois Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth. Guebert told legislators that with the last planting, it may be into October before many farmers start harvesting this year.

The weather forecast for the coming week continues to show expected precipitation between 20 and 50 percent, down from the previous week, but still a concern to area farmers eager struggling with water issues.

High water levels on the Mississippi have made transportation more difficult in some cases, with at least some sections closed due to flooding, including a northern stretch near La. Bridge to Minneapolis, and the St. Louis Harbor, which was closed from June 19 – 21, with levels approaching flood stage.

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