USDA: Corn harvest progress steady, reaches 79%

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Wet weather failed to slow corn and soybean harvest for much of the nation’s producers as just 21 percent of corn and 29 percent of soybeans have yet to be harvested.  The progress puts the 2012 corn harvest again at a record-pace; the national average for the third week in October from 1985-2011 is 40 percent. If producers can wrap-up corn harvest by the first week of November – likely with the current weather pattern – 2012 would mark the earliest corn harvest in Crop Progress history.

Individually, most of the nation’s top corn- and soybean-producing states are maintaining a steady progress:

In Arkansas, soybean harvest has reached 64 percent, climbing 11 percentage points from last week, which can be attributed to limited rainfall for the majority of the state.  According to the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (APHS), the majority of the state received between one-half to 1 inch of rain over the last seven days, with small pockets around the state seeing 1.5 to 2 inches of rain.  

Corn harvest in Colorado is at the half-way point, putting it 29 percentage points above 2011’s pace and 16 points above the five-year average. It also is gained by 14 percentage points from last week, making it the third highest gain reported. Precipitation last week was minimal, with the majority of the state’s cropland receiving between a trace and one-tenth of an inch of rain.

In Illinois, both corn (87 percent) and soybean (69 percent) harvest made impressive gains this week, putting the state well above its five-year average for both crops. Rain was steady, which slowed harvest slightly. APHS reported that the majority of the state received between one-half and 1 inch of rain since last week.

click image to zoomAPHSRain total for the week ending Oct. 15 In Indiana, corn harvest is sitting at 61 percent while soybean harvest is at 51 percent. Both corn and soybean harvest progress is well above 2011’s pace, but for soybeans it is 6 percentage points below Indiana’s five-year average. Most of the state received less than one-half inch of rain over the last week, giving farmers opportunity to make headway in completing the 2012 harvest.

Iowa’s corn and soybean harvest have exploded in the last week. Corn harvest, at 87 percent, was one the largest jumps from last year’s report. Soybean harvest was at 93 percent, putting it 24 percentage points above the state’s five-year average. The notable progress was reported after the state received around one-half to 2 inches of rain, with a trace reported in the extreme northwestern corner of the state.

Last year, corn and soybean harvest in Kansas was at 72 percent and 54 percent respectfully. This week the progress is mixed, with the current corn harvest at 90 percent. Soybean harvest, however, is 14 percentage points behind 2011’s pace, sitting at 40 percent. Few portions of the state received more than 1 inch of rain, leaving little pause for producers.

Kentucky’s corn and soybean harvest progress have been steady, with 91 percent of corn harvest and 42 percent of soybean harvest completed.  Both crops are at, in the case of soybeans, or above, in the case of corn, the state’s five-year average. Farmers are also well-above last week’s progress, partly in thanks to limited rainfall.

Louisiana received little rain last week, and producers were able to gain ground in harvesting soybeans. Currently, 87 percent of the state’s soybeans have been harvested. Though an improvement from last week, it is also 4 percentage points below 2011’s pace.

Michigan is one of the few states with less than 40 percent of corn harvested. Even with up to three inches of rain falling in northern areas of the state, producers were able to add 13 percentage points of harvested corn. Soybean harvest is sitting at 67 percent, putting it 21 percentage points above last week’s report and 25 percentage points above last year.

In Minnesota, rain stayed mainly to the south, and producers were able to reach 90 percent of harvested corn and 99 percent of harvested soybeans.  For both crops, the report showed progress at 26 percentage points (soybeans) and 63 percentage points (corn) above the state’s five-year average.

Mississippi’s soybean harvest has now reached 91 percent. Though it gained by 10 percentage points from last week, last week’s progress put it 13 percentage points above its five-year average of 78 percent. Rain played no factor last week.

Missouri was one of the biggest losers of the corn producing states, gaining by just 3 percentage points from last week. At 95 percent complete, corn harvest is still 29 percentage points above the five-year average.  Though producers made gains in harvesting soybeans, the percentage of completed harvest is at 36 percent. This is 13 percentage points below 2011’s pace and 1 percentage point below the five-year average. 

Rain was not an issue in Nebraska, and as a result producers were able to reach 80 percent and 86 percent of harvested corn and soybeans.  For corn, this is 53 percentage points above 2011’s report. Soybean harvest is also above last year’s pace.

In North Carolina, corn harvest has reached 92 percent, which is one percentage points below last year’s report. Soybean harvest is the lowest reported, with just 7 percent harvested. This is 2 percentage points below the state’s five-year average and report from 2011.  

North Dakota received less than one-quarter of an inch of rain, further extending drought conditions but giving producers the opportunity to advance in crop harvest. Eight-four percent of the state’s corn has been harvested, and 98 percent of soybeans have been harvested.  The state’s producers made the biggest gains of all the states this week in harvesting corn, advancing by 21 percentage points.

Ohio’s corn and soybeans have been making headway thanks to just a trace of rain last week.  Both crop harvest progress remain the lowest of the reporting states, with 31 percent of corn and 38 percent of soybeans harvested. Despite the slow progress, corn harvest is still 24 percentage points above last year’s pace. Soybean harvest, however, is 11 percentage points below the state’s five-year average.

In Pennsylvania, producers have reached 41 percent of harvested corn. While well below the national average, it is still 20 percentage points ahead of 2011’s pace.

South Dakota’s corn and soybean harvest has been quickly advancing, and now are at 90 percent (corn) and 98 percent (soybeans). Like other states in the northern Plains, rain was not a factor, and producers were able to advance by 12 percentage points in corn harvest. Both crops are well above the state’s five-year average.

Tennessee received an average of one-half of an inch of rain last week, but progress remained steady. Currently 97 percent of corn and 33 percent of soybeans have been harvested. Despite soybean harvest gaining 9 percentage points from last week’s report, it is still 5 percentage points below 2011’s report.

Texas producers were consistent last week, gaining 6 percentage points to reach 88 percent of harvested corn.  Rain was of little issue, with many areas seeing less than one-half an inch of rain. The state is 4 percentage points above the state’s five-year average.

Wisconsin received some of the most rain last week, with the central and southern areas of the state reporting between 2 to 3 inches. Even with the drenching, farmers were able to reach 54 percent of harvested corn and 88 percent of harvested soybeans. This is 34 percentage points above the five-year above for corn harvest, and 36 percentage points above last year’s pace for both crops.

Click here to read more from the USDA.

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