Iowa largest producer of corn, soybeans in U.S., USDA says; Illnois' McLean and LaSalle counties the largest producers of soybeans, corn by county, respectively

BLOOMINGTON, Indiana , March 1, 2012 () – Iowa is tops in the country for corn and soybean production, but Illinois has biggest-producing counties.

U.S. Department of Agriculture data shows McLean County in central Illinois is the country's No. 1 producer of soybeans, and LaSalle County in the north-central part of the state, ranks first in corn.

McLean County farmers grew 14.3 million bushels of soybeans last year. The county also produced 58.3 million bushels of corn, coming in second nationwide among corn-growing counties. Bloomington is McLean's county seat.

LaSalle County is no. 1 for corn production at 60.2 million bushels. Ottawa, the county seat, is about 80 miles southwest of Chicago.

Rodney Weinzierl, executive director for the Illinois Corn Growers Association, told The Pantagraph that McLean County's quality spoil and large land area regularly make it a top producer. He said that last summer's dry weather kept the county from holding its usual spot as top corn producer.

"Mother Nature made (2011) a little bit different for us," Weinzierl said.

Livingston County, which is also in north-central Illinois, was second in both the state and the country in soybean production at 13.1 million bushels.

Illinois ranks second among U.S. states for both types of crops.

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