Published on October 25, 2020 | Last Updated April 12, 2022
Agriculture is big business in Illinois! It is a great place to grow cash crops. Farmland in Illinois covers approximately 75 percent of the state. Illinois’ flat topography helps farmers grow by making it easier and more predictable to operate machinery. There are many crops to grow to in Illinois that earn a profit. Cold winters and warm summers being challenges as well as opportunities.
Planting Crops for Profit
With an abundance of prime farmland and several sources of water available throughout Illinois growing cash crops for profit is definitely possible and suggested. Below is a laid out list which will hep you see if there are crops you may be interested in that are well suited to the grow in Illinois, for profit or as a hobby.
With commercial farming being so big in Illinois there is a dependable road, rail, and shipping infrastructure already in place to export cash crops. Chicago is a massive hub for rail and shipping as it has access. Access to what you might ask, it has access to the Great Lakes and Mississippi River open up routes to deliver crops.
Best Crops to Grow for a Profit in Illinois
The biggest cash crops being produced in Illinois are corn and soybeans. However, there are still many other types of crops grown throughout the state.
Wheat – Illinois third biggest cash crop, as it grows extremely well in the Illinois climate.
Oats – Grows best in Northern Illinois.
Hay – Grows well in Illinois, typically alfalfa is the hay of choice to be grown.
Buckwheat – Can grow throughout the state, does well in some regions. However, you should check with local experts to determine if you can grow this crop for profit.
Horseradish – Grows extremely well in Illinois, it is one of the biggest producers of horseradish in the nation, and is definitely a successful cash crop in Illinois.
Lima Beans – Well suited to grow in Illinois. They are a big supplier of the nations Lima beans.
Pumpkins – Grows extremely well in Illinois, it is one of the biggest producers of pumpkins in the nation.
Even More Crops to Grow in Illinois
Asparagus – Grows extremely well in Illinois, it is one of the biggest producers of asparagus in the nation.
Beans – Sensitive to frost, these grow best in warmer regions. They are better suited in Southern Illinois than in the northern regions of the state.
Beets – Well suited to grow in Illinois.
Broccoli – Well suited to grow in Illinois. However, it’s more susceptible to bugs and aphids.
Brussels Sprouts – Hardy plant, grows best in cool weather places. However, make sure they get plenty of sun.
Cabbage – Grows in most places. However, make sure they get plenty of sun.
Carrots – Hardy plant and they grow best in cool weather places.
Chard – Well suited to grow in Illinois.
Cauliflower – Grows extremely well in Illinois, it is one of the biggest producers of cauliflower in the nation.
Collard Greens & Kale – Plant about 1 month before the last frost.
Cucumbers – These grow in Illinois,however, they attract bugs, aphids, and beetles.
Eggplant – Better suited to grow in Southern Illinois, plant 2 months before last frost.
Garlic – Well suited and grow throughout Illinois, the best time to plant is in the fall.
Grapes – Hardy cold weather grapes grow best in Illinois.
Gourds – Similar to pumpkins, as a result, gourds grow well in Illinois.
Leeks – Some varieties grow in Central and Northern Illinois.
Lettuce – Romaine & Butter-head can be grown in Illinois.
Parsnip – Grown all over the state of Illinois.
Peach – Peaches grow best in warm climates, but they can thrive in Southern and parts of Central Illinois. Plant in an area with maximum sunlight.
Peas – Grows extremely well in Illinois. For example, State is one of the biggest producers of peas in the nation.
Radishes – Radishes like moist soil and plenty of sun as they grow well in cooler climates.
Rhubarb – Grows best in Northern regions of Illinois.
Sorghum – Grows best in Southern Illinois, typically farmers choose to grow corn over sorghum since corn is more profitable and easier to maintain.
Spinach – Can grow in Illinois it does not like too much heat, so avoid growing in the summer. However, it’s more susceptible to bugs.
Squash – Similar to pumpkins, as a result, squash grows well in Illinois.
Tomatoes – Many varieties can grow throughout all of Illinois.
Turnips – Grows best in Northern regions of Illinois.
Watermelon – Prefers warm weather over colder weather. Most places in the country are suitable to grow watermelon.