Corn yields of 200 bushels per acre would be well below last year’s record 241.8 bpa in Piatt County, but it would not be a horrible outcome for a growing season that included the latest planting in recent memory followed by a dry summer.

“It’s not bad,” said Topflight Grain Cooperative Merchandiser Derrick Bruhn, who is predicting average yields in the neighborhood of 200 to 210 bushels per acre after he toured crops last week. That compares to a typical Piatt County average of around 220 bpa.

“It’s the type of thing that Piatt County soils are very forgiving. We can withstand more because we have the capacity to hold moisture, and we have more drainage tile than a lot of places,” he said.

Bruhn did see more tip-back than usual on late planted corn, meaning the ear is more exposed at the end and includes less kernels.

His annual tour also showed a crop that is less mature than a typical August. That gives some hope that kernels will be able to add a little more weight by the time they are harvested.

“The cool temperatures now and the cool temperatures the near future are slowing down the maturity, but it could mean good test weights,” said the Topflight spokesman.

Soybean yields are also expected to come in about 10 to 15 percent below the record numbers of 2018, when Piatt County farmers averaged 73.2 bushels per acre. Bruhn thinks this year could still end up with 60 to 65 bpa average yields for beans.

Topflight also does crop tours in Logan County. Bruhn said a larger reduction of about 17 percent is expected there due to later planting.

A formal presentation of the crop tours was presented by Topflight officials at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3 at the Lion’s Club Community Center in Bement. Scott Irwin from the University of Illinois also spoke on the markets and what to expect for this fall.

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