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USDA crop progress: Harvest season marches forward

Getty/iStockphoto Corn harvest in autumn
Corn and soybeans both move closer to 20% completion.

Thanks to mostly agreeable weather forecasts this past week, the 2021 corn and soybean harvests found some forward momentum. Corn’s pace is a bit faster, at 18% completion, but soybeans aren’t too far behind, with 16% complete through Sunday. USDA left quality ratings for both crops unchanged in its latest weekly crop progress report, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through Sept. 26.

At 18% completion, corn harvest is progressing slightly slower than analysts anticipated, when they offered an average trade guess of 19% prior to today’s report. It’s still three points above the prior five-year average of 15%, however. The vast majority of the crop (97%) is now dented. And 74% is fully mature, which is running well ahead of the prior five-year average of 64%.

Corn crop quality held steady week-over-week, with 59% rated in good-to-excellent condition, 26% rated fair, and the remaining 15% rated poor or very poor.

Soybean harvest is running a bit faster than analyst expectations, with 16% completion through Sunday versus an average trade guess of 15%. It’s also three points above the prior five-year average of 13%. Three-fourths of the crop is now dropping leaves, up from 58% last week and ahead of the prior five-year average of 66%.

As with corn, soybean crop quality remained steady from a week ago, with 58% rated in good-to-excellent condition, 28% rated fair, and the remaining 14% rated poor or very poor.

Winter wheat plantings moved from 21% completion a week ago up to 34% through Sunday, mirroring analyst expectations. It’s also moving slightly faster than 2020’s pace of 33% and the prior five-year average of 32%. Nine percent of the 2021/22 crop is now emerged, up from 3% a week ago.

Click here to read the latest USDA crop progress report for additional information on cotton, sorghum, sugarbeets and more.

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