Based on Illinois Farm Business Farm Management Association (FBFM) records that have been recently summarized, a verage farm operator returns for labor and management on 3,015 Illinois farms was higher for all geographic areas in the state in 2004 compared to 2003 and significantly above the average for the last five years. Record breaking corn and soybean yields and strong grain prices early in the year more than offset increased costs. Relatively high livestock prices also contributed to the better incomes on livestock farms. Lower grain prices at harvest resulted in the opportunity for producers to receive loan deficiency payments on corn and for part of the time on soybeans. Thus, total government payments received in 2004 by producers were above payments received in 2002 and 2003. Farm earnings were highest in the west central and far southern areas of the state. Earnings were lowest in the northeastern part of the state.