2021 – “Great Yields but No Records”

Posted: April 22, 2022

Recap of crop year shows exceptional yields despite adverse weather

The 2021 growing season got off to a good start with most of the corn and soybeans planted timely. However, some areas of the county experienced excess rainfall in May and June. Rainfall diminished in late July while the southern part of the county experienced high winds followed by hail.

Crop yield prospects were very high in late July but diminished in August as dry weather and wind damage took the top off potential yield. In spite of the adverse weather late in the growing season, crop yields were exceptional in 2021.

Corn – The average corn yield for DeKalb County FBFM was 213 bushels per acre while the NASS-USDA average for DeKalb County was 203 bushels.

Soybeans – DeKalb County soybean yields were 69 and 63 bushels for FBFM and NASS-USDA averages respectively. The DeKalb County FBFM average yield for soybeans tied the record set in 2016.

Wheat – DeKalb County wheat yields were 91 and 79 for FBFM and NASS-USDA averages respectively.

2021 brought increased yields and grain prices rallied during the growing season and again at year-end. Labor and Management Income increased significantly for DeKalb County FBFM farms in 2021.

Crop input costs among Northern Illinois FBFM farms increased sharply in 2021 to $262 per acre.

Hogs – Market hog prices rallied during the first half of 2021 and remained strong throughout the year pushing hog farm incomes sharply higher in 2021.

Dairy – Dairy farm incomes were slightly lower in 2021 as milk prices were relatively low for most of the year but rallied in the fourth quarter.

Beef – Beef cattle feeding margins improved in 2021 pushing cattle farm incomes higher.

Most of the livestock farms also produce grain and a significant part of their increase in income is attributable to higher grain farm incomes.

Global demand for feed grains and oilseeds remains very strong. The price outlook for corn, soybeans, wheat and livestock is the strongest it has been in several years.

The strength in prices has put pressure on agricultural production input costs. Input costs, particularly fertilizer, will be sharply higher in 2022. The availability of fertilizer, repair parts and other inputs continues to be a challenge.

The outlook for farm earnings in 2022 remains strong.

By Scott Newport, Farm Business Farm Management Specialist