(ILCG) With corn production yield estimates coming in nationally at a record-high number, and the Illinois yield to be the second largest on record, market access will be a key factor in limiting losses due to depressed corn prices. “This is the type of scenario that we pencil out to demonstrate why market access is so important to corn farmer profitability,” said Illinois Corn Growers Association President Justin Durdan. “Now it looks like our “what if” scenarios might become “what now” situations as we face continued below cost of production prices, threats to our export relationships, and deteriorating transportation infrastructure.” The November 9, 2017, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Crop Production report pegs the national average per acre corn yield at 175.4 that if realized, would be a record. “We cannot say strongly enough how important export markets are to the profitability picture for corn farmers,” said Durdan. “Specifically, NAFTA needs to remain in effect, and maybe even improved by the Trump Administration, but we cannot withdraw because losing our top corn customer right now is unimaginable.” Secretary Perdue said this past week that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is preparing for the loss of NAFTA, just in case, but at the farm level, no amount of preparation will make a difference to losing that market, especially since we believe that more than half the corn that ends up in Mexico from the U.S. was grown on an American farm.