It's a race to the finish line for producers eager to wrap up the 2012 corn harvest. In its latest Crop Progress report, released on Wednesday due to delays caused by Hurricane Sandy, the USDA reports that 91 percent of corn has been harvested as of Oct. 28.
This is 4 percentage points above last week's report and 17 points ahead of last year's pace. At the current pace, corn harvest should be completed by early- to mid-November.
Looking back at past Crop Progress reports, the 26-year average reported for this week of the month is 65 percent.
Twelve of the top 18 reporting states have nearly wrapped up harvest activities for the year, and most of the remaining states aren't far behind. Michigan, however, is lagging behind the other states with just 57 percent of corn harvested.
Ohio and Pennsylvania have also reported low percentages, but despite both states reporting 64 percent of corn harvested, they are also well above last year's pace by 47 percentage points (Ohio) and 27 percent (Pennsylvania). Ohio producers in particular were able to make impressive headway ahead of Hurricane Sandy's arrival, advancing corn harvest by 14 percentage points.
Soybeans aren't far behind the progress made in corn harvest, and 87 percent of soybeans have now been harvested. This is on-track with last year's pace of 85 percent but still above the five-year average of 78 percent.
Eight of the reporting states - Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin – have completed or are nearly finished with harvest this year. North Carolina has reported just 17 percent of soybeans harvested, the lowest percentage reported this week. Though the state's producers were able to increase soybean harvest by 7 percentage points, it is still 7 percentage points behind last year's report.
Missouri and Tennessee also reported low percentages of harvested soybeans, with 62 and 66 percent respectively. Missouri in particular is 17 percentage points behind last year's pace.