Average farm operator returns for labor and management on 3,018 Illinois farms was higher for all geographic areas in the state and increased considerably in 2003 compared to returns experienced by producers in 2002. Record breaking corn yields along with higher grain prices offset below average soybean yields. Improved livestock returns also contributed to the better incomes on farms producing livestock. A change in the method of calculating depreciation also affected the earnings figure. As a result of the higher grain prices, for the second year in a row government farm program payments were at levels considerably below farm program payments made during the 1998 through 2001 time period.