Farmers in central Illinois are noticing bigger yields this harvest season compared to previous years.

"The harvest has been pretty phenomenal this year, with bigger yields than farmers are used to seeing," said Mark Tarter, vice president of grain at The Equity. "I've never seen yields this good."

The company has four elevators in four different counties: Effingham, Shelby, Marion and Edgar.

He attributes the increased yields to crops being planted in a timely fashion, adequate sunshine and rainfall.

"Its been a fast paced harvest for us at the elevator," he said. "The harvest started Sept. 10 and we anticipate it will pretty much be over by Oct. 20 or 25."

Devin Aherin of Dieterich grows corn, soybeans and wheat on 1,400 acres. He is seeing soybean yields of 10 to 15 bushels above average per acre, while corn is 30 to 40 bushels per acre better than usual.

"It's been a good season so far," he said. "The biggest challenge is to find where to put the extra yields."

Aherin has finshed his soybean harvesting and is half done with harvesting corn.

Tarter said The Equity has more corn stored on the ground and has switched some corn bins to soybean storage. He added that they have been trucking out a lot of grain so that they can stay open for farmers.

Zach Budde, who farms corn and soybeans with his father and brother on the Effingham/Clay county line, said that his family has also seen higher yields. Budde said they are seeing 220 to 230 bushels per acre for corn and 60 to 70 bushels per acre on beans.

Budde said that last year he was seeing 96 bushels an acre average for corn and 48 bushels an acre average for soybeans.

"This is the best year I have seen since I've been farming," he said.

Mark Goldstein, who farms corn, beans and hay on 400 acres with his father just north of Effingham, agreed that yields are phenomenal this season.

"We're getting better yields here than they are getting up north in the black dirt," he said.

Even though yields are higher, the same is not true for prices.

"Prices are depressed," Tarter said. "But there is a good gross revenue per acre due to abundant yields."

Crystal Reed can be reached at or by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 131.

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