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Soybean harvest off to solid startSoybean harvest off to solid start

USDA forecasts a record soybean harvest. Are yields on track so far this season? And where did soybean production numbers end up last year?

Jill Loehr

October 10, 2016

1 Min Read

USDA's Sept. 12 Illinois Crop Production Report forecasts record soybean yields for 2016: 600 million bushels and 61 bushels per acre. As of the Oct. 3 Crop Progress Report, soybean harvest was 16% complete. And so far, Stephanie Porter, sales agronomist with Burrus Hybrids, believes a record harvest is possible.

Porter says soybean yields are coming in at 55 to 60 bushels on light ground. On more productive soils in eastern Illinois, farmers are harvesting up to 80 bushels per acre. And in northern Illinois, Porter has heard reports of 90 to 100 bushels per acre.


Jenny Mennenga, a soybean farmer in central Illinois, describes this harvest season with one word: “variable.” Soybean yields on their farm ranged from 55 to 80 bushels per acre, depending on varieties and soils.

Even though overall yields look good, there have been some disease issues. Porter says certain fields impacted by sudden death syndrome suffered a 10% to 20% yield loss.  

Disease wasn’t an issue for Mennenga; drought stress put pressure on crops until timely rains in late July and August.

The biggest challenge this season? “Harvest prices have not been great,” Mennenga says. “So that’s a challenge right now.” However, she is optimistic for future demand on soybeans and is thankful they invested in additional grain storage this year.

Only time will tell where final soybean production numbers will end up. For a recap on 2015 soybean production and other facts on soybeans, check out the infographic below.

Soybean harvest off to solid start

About the Author(s)

Jill Loehr

Associate Editor, Prairie Farmer, Loehr

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