2018 Illinois Corn, Soybean Yields Set Records


Published on February 11 2019 9:43 am
Last Updated on February 11 2019 9:45 am


Illinois set records for corn and soybean yields in 2018, although the same can't be said for national yield rates.

A somewhat anxious wait for the final 2018 corn and soybean production numbers ended Friday as USDA released a batch of overdue reports previously delayed by the government shutdown.

And, as it turns out, the much-anticipated reports didn’t reveal any eye-popping surprises as much as they confirmed what many traders expected – a reduction in U.S. crop estimates, record yields in Illinois, fewer plantings of winter wheat nationwide and a smaller soybean crop in Brazil.

“We got the much-delayed reports. There were not a lot of major surprises,” Brian Basting, marketing analyst with Advance Trading, said during a teleconference hosted by the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. “A lot of the estimates were built into the trade.”

USDA pegged 2018 U.S. corn production at 14.42 billion bushels, down 206 million bushels from the previous estimate, with a yield of 176.4 bushels per acre, down 0.2-bushel from the 2017 record.

U.S. soybean production for 2018 totaled 4.54 billion bushels, down 56 million bushels from the previous estimate, with a final yield of 51.6 bushels per acre, up 2.3 bushels from last year but 0.3 of a bushel below the 2016 record.

Yield records were smashed in Illinois, though, as USDA projected a corn yield of 210 bushels per acre, up 9 bushels from the 2017 record, and a soybean yield of 65 bushels per acre, besting the 2017 record of 59 bushels.

Illinois produced the most soybeans (698.7 million bushels) of any state in the nation last year and was runner-up to Iowa in total corn production with 2.27 billion bushels.

“The focus now will be on the South American soybean crop and double-crop corn being planted there,” Basting said.

USDA lowered its estimate of Brazilian soybean production as expected, due to dry weather, by 5 million metric tons (mmt) to 117 mmt. It also lowered soybean production estimates in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and South Africa.