Mike Toohill, an agronomist with Diversified Services spends much of his time scouting fields across Illinois. Toohill says he started his week in southern part of the state. “We weren’t really trying to make yield estimates – we were trying to time it for silage chopping,” he says. “Basically – anything south of SR16 (the southern third of the state) will all be zeroed out.”
Toohill tells Brownfield he found his biggest surprise in East Central Illinois. “Eastern McLean County has good dirt; with highly managed farms that are side dressed and utilize a variety of tillage practices by good growers,” he says. “I looked at over 15 fields and my yield estimate on the corn side was zero.”
Toohill has a pretty bleak outlook for Illinois’ average corn yield. “As of today (Thursday) – I’m going to assume the southern third at 40 bu –but I don’t think 40 bushels is realistic, but let’s go ahead and use 40 bushels for southern Illinois,” he says. “This number is going to be pretty hard to swallow – because there is decent corn in central Illinois (the Macomb and Galesburg areas) – but my number is 100 bushels in Central Illinois and I’m hoping for 130 bushels in northern Illinois.” Using those figures, Toohill’s state average for corn yield is 110 bu. for 2012 (the average corn yield in 2011 was 157 bushels).
He says with the high temperatures returning – if there isn’t a rain soon they’ll start dropping yield estimates 1 to 2 bushels a day.