The high yields among Illinois corn and soybean crops in the past few years seem like a distant memory this summer. The scorching heat and drought conditions have left fields throughout the state in trouble. Phil Nelson, President of the Bloomington-based Illinois Farm Bureau, says compared to recent years, this is the other end of the spectrum for many farmers and others in agri-business:
"I'd say the last two to three years have been the best of times in production agriculture, in the whole value chain from the implement dealer to the fertilizer dealer to the seed dealer. And this could be one of the worst of times."
Nelson says along with a smaller harvest, there could be a tight seed supply for next year as crops being grown for seed production could be zeroed out. Farmers may buy fewer combines and tractors, hurting that part of the economy. Nelson says even those with crop insurance won't have the profit they could have earned from a better harvest.
Support Your Public Radio Station