Farmers were able to make progress last week ahead of Hurricane Isaac, and though combines were silent this weekend in some parts of the Midwest, corn harvest is continuing to push ahead to 10 percent according to USDA data released Tuesday in the Crop Progress Report. The report also showed unchanged corn conditions.

Corn progressing quickly
Forty-one percent of corn is now mature, an increase of 15 percentage points from last week and 26 points higher than in 2011. Harvest is now underway in 13 of the top 18 corn-producing states, with Texas, Tennessee and Missouri leading the pack with 61 percent, 49 percent and 44 percent.

Late last week forecasters predicted the brunt of the remnants of Isaac to hit Missouri, Illinois and Indiana the hardest of the corn-producing states.

Isaac fails to slow harvest, corn conditions hold steady The National Weather Service showed on Tuesday that Missouri and Illinois were some of the hardest hit, though welcomed rain did soak Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and other states with 0.5 to 2.0 inches.

The map to the right, provided by the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS), shows the rainfall totals of the past 7 days, including Isaac’s impact. Find more data from the AHPS here.

Though Missouri and Illinois were hardest hit by the system, both made strides in harvesting corn:

Corn Progress: Percent of corn harvest

 

-----Week Ending-----

 

State

Sept. 2, 2011

Aug. 26, 2012

Sept. 2, 2012

2007-2011 Average

Illinois

2

6

12

2

Missouri

10

32

44

8

U.S.

3

6

10

3

See how your state is doing here.

Parts of the state saw between 2.0 and 6.0 inches, but because farmers were able to prepare in advance of Isaac, the storm did little to slow corn harvest. Missouri’s corn harvest moved ahead by 12 percentage points from last week, placing it among the fastest progressing states this week.

Crop conditions weren’t as lucky.

This week the national average remained unchanged, a welcomed relief after weeks of falling reports.  Even with rain soaking the Midwest over the weekend, conditions in many states didn’t improve much – if any:

 

Very Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Illinois

41

34

21

4

0

Indiana

40

32

20

8

0

Kansas

41

30

22

7

0

Kentucky

45

35

14

5

1

Missouri

58

27

10

4

1

U.S.

26

26

26

19

3

When compared to the drought of 1988, it’s clear that crops are struggling even more than reported 24 years:

 

Very Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Illinois

8

50

40

2

0

Indiana

5

52

41

2

0

Kansas

6

7

35

33

19

Kentucky

10

41

43

6

0

Missouri

18

47

24

10

1

U.S.

10

36

37

14

3

Isaac fails to slow harvest, corn conditions hold steady This was the second of corn in worse condition than in 1988, as see in the chart to the right.

U.S. corn consumption has slowed, as described in the latest Purdue Weekly Outlook, available here. University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good warns that the extent of corn rationing is still unclear as the size of the 2012 crop is still being determined.

“The average U.S. corn yield will obviously be the most important factor in determining crop size, but the magnitude of acreage harvested for grain will also influence crop size,” Good said.

The magnitude of harvested corn acreage starts with the magnitude of planted acres, and Good notes that history suggests the final acreage estimates will deviate from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) Acreage report released in June. 

“For example, in the previous 10 years, the final estimate of planted acres deviated by as little as 37,000 to as much as 1.345 million acres from the June estimate,” Good said.

Good is also anticipating the difference between planted and harvest average to be at least as large as in 1980, 1988 and in 2002. The differences in those years averaged 10 million acres, in a range of 9.47 to 11.1 million acres. Read more here.

Soybeans: Harvest update due next week
Nearly 20 percent of soybeans have dropped leaves, putting this year’s pace 14 percentage above 2011’s report. The USDA noted that harvest progress will begin to be provided as early as next week.

Soybean conditions declined slightly this week, falling by just one percentage point:

 

Very Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

This week

16

21

33

26

4

Last week

17

21

32

26

4

Last year

5

11

28

45

11


Like corn, Missouri has the worst conditions of the reporting states, with nearly 80 percent of soybeans in poor to very poor condition. North Carolina, Louisiana and Mississippi reported the best soybean conditions with less than 10 percent of soybeans in these conditions.