MAHOMET, Ill. (WCIA) — Most farmers have been checking corn yields with some pleasant surprises and some disappointments.

Greg Johnson, grain originator for TGM Marketing at Mahomet, has been in many cornfields in the last couple weeks.

“I typically try to take a survey of the corn in Champaign County, Vermilion County, Piatt County, our typical draw territory,” Johnson said. “Champaign County has been the bullseye for the drought all year; out of 102 counties, only two or three in Illinois have been in that Drought Monitor bullseye area and unfortunately Champaign county is one of those counties, so we have been extremely dry.”

“We had good plant populations, so whatever got planted came up. We didn’t have a lot of skips as far as population is concerned. The problem that I saw was that we had a lot of corn that was 16 inches around. Last year they were 18 to 20 rows around,” Johnson continued. “So that’s going to cut back about 10% on the yield. The other thing that I saw was a little disappointing was the length of the ear. Last year, for example, we had a lot in the over-40 kernels per row. This year, everything was in the mid to upper 30s. So that’s going to cut back on the yield a little bit as well.”

Any sort of an average yield for your market territory at this point?

“I would say right now we are looking in the 195 to 200 bushel range for Champaign County,” Johnson responded. “Last year we set a record of 222.4. So we are going to be about 20 to 25 bushels less, I’m afraid, than last year.

Some areas in the territory that had some really good yields, some not so well, so there’s quite a bit, as you said a while a go, quite a bit of variability.

“Yes, and I think you can almost track it to how much rain people got in June and July. Areas that got some of those rains or pop-up showers, there was some 225 bushel corn out there,” Johnson said. “Others that didn’t, on the other hand, were down as low as 150 to 160. Some of the driest areas I saw were in the southern Champaign County area, in that Tolono to Homer area for example, that was where it really was the driest and consequently, I saw some very low yields there.”