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Corn+Soybean Digest

Corn, Soy Harvest Moving Very Slowly

The U.S. corn and soybean harvest continued to progress very slowly last week as cool, wet weather slowed crop maturation and drying across the Midwest crop belt.

Monday’s USDA weekly crop update pegged U.S. corn harvest progress at 10% as of Sunday, which was in line with trade expectations, but behind last year’s pace of 13% and the five-year average of 25%.

USDA reported 15% of U.S. soybeans had been harvested, well behind last year’s pace of 28% harvested and the five-year average of 36%. The soybean harvest progress number was also short of trade expectations for 20-23%.

USDA reported that 57% of the U.S. corn crop was mature as of Sunday, up from 37% a week earlier, but well behind the five-year average of 84%. Some 79% of the U.S. soybean crop was dropping leaves against an average of 88%.

Crop condition ratings improved last week, something highly unusual so late in the season. U.S. corn conditions rose to 70% good/excellent vs. 68% a week earlier and 61% a year earlier. Soybean conditions rose to 67% good/excellent vs. 66% a week earlier and 57% a year earlier.

Corn harvest is furthest behind normal in the No. 2 growing state of Illinois, where only 5% of the crop has been harvested as of Sunday against an average pace of 41%.

Only 41% of the Illinois crop had reached maturity as of Sunday against a five-year average of 93%.

Soybean harvest is also furthest behind in Illinois, with only 6% of the state’s crop having been harvested against a five-year average of 40%, while 62% of the crop was dropping leaves against an average of 91%.

In the top corn state of Iowa, 3% of the corn crop had been harvested against an average pace of 11%, while 71% of the state’s crop was mature against an average of 88%.

Crop reporters are concerned about fungal diseases and the effect they will have on yields, the Iowa office of the National Statistics Service (NASS) said in its weekly update. Some areas of the state reported frost, but temperatures did not stay low enough long enough to cause considerable damage, NASS said.

The moisture content of all Iowa corn in the field was estimated at 29%, 4 percentage points above the five-year average, while the moisture content of corn being harvested was estimated at 25%, also 4 percentage points above average.

Iowa soybean harvest was 20% done against an average pace of 47%, while 90% of the state’s crop was dropping leaves against an average of 94%.

Editor’s note: Richard Brock, Corn & Soybean Digest's marketing editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

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