Corn harvest advances, but pace behind average
Corn harvest across the 18 top-producing states is slowly advancing, slower than the five-year average and less than half of the completion rate from this time last year.
Only 39 percent of this year’s corn harvest is complete, according to the Crop Progress report released by the USDA on Monday. The current rate is 14 percentage points behind the five-year average and 46 percentage points behind data from a year prior.
Corn harvest is most advanced in North Carolina, where 95 percent of the crop is harvested, followed by Texas at 77 percent complete and 71 percent complete in Tennessee.
Harvest is expected to move at a slow pace this week, hindered by light showers, freezing temperatures and light snow. An agricultural meteorologist told Reuters the slowdowns will only marginally harm U.S. corn and soybean crops.
Rain and snow is in the forecast for Iowa, northern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio early in the week, bringing about an inch of wet snow or a quarter of an inch of rain depending on temperatures. The southern half of the Midwest is expected to see around a half of an inch of rain later this week.
The USDA reports 60 percent of this year’s corn is in at least “Good” condition with 17 percent of that figure in “Excellent” condition. Over half (54%) of Kentucky’s corn crop is in excellent condition.
Over half of the soybeans in the country’s 18 top-producing states are harvested. This week’s total reached 63 percent, six percentage points lower than the five-year average and 16 percentage points below this time last year. Louisiana is leading all states with 90 percent of its soybean harvest complete, followed by Mississippi at 82 percent complete.
The USDA reports 57 percent of this year’s soybean crop is in “Good” or “Excellent” condition, only four percent is rated as “Very Poor.”