Ag in the AM: History May Not Repeat Itself

MOLINE, Illinois - Farm groups say it’s unfair to compare the drought of 1988 to the weather we’re seeing today.

Drought and drought-like conditions are being seen in Illinois and Iowa.  But farm groups tell Agriculture.com corn genetics and production practices have improved so a repeat of the impact of the dry weather of 24-years ago should not be seen this year.

“With increased irrigation and better crop genetics their is no reason why we shouldn’t outyield 1988. I don’t know how the rest of the country looks, but most crops within 50 miles of me look about the same with the exception of a few spots that received a rain at key points,” says Marketing Talk senior contributor and southern Michigan farmer Blacksandfarmer.

“My grandfather has farmed here since the late 1960s and has never had a year that corn yielded nothing. That includes 1988 where corn yielded 29 bushels/acre. This year, it is doubtful that we have a corn crop.”

Some farmers say better irrigation systems and crop genetics should help them out-yield the 1988 numbers even if the weather gets as dry as it did back then.

Corn yield in 1988 reached 29-bushels an acre or worse in some regions.