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Crop Progress: Corn and soybean harvests gain momentum

Corn quality ratings slide lower while soybeans stay steady

Ben Potter

October 17, 2022

2 Min Read
Soybean field with sun shining
Rachel Schutte

USDA’s latest crop progress report, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through October 16, showed the 2022 corn and soybean harvests rolling another step closer to the finish line. USDA also served up fresh quality ratings for both crops; corn conditions took an unexpected drop lower, while soybeans held steady, matching analyst expectations.

Corn quality ratings declined by a point, although analysts had expected to see them hold steady this past week. Through Sunday, 53% of the crop is in good-to-excellent condition. Another 26% is rated fair (unchanged from last week), with the remaining 21% rated poor or very poor (up a point from last week).

Physiologically, 94% of this season’s corn crop is fully mature – up from 87% a week ago and a bit ahead of the prior five-year average of 92%. Harvest progress moved from 31% complete last week up to 45%. That puts current progress behind 2021’s pace of 50% but ahead of the prior five-year average of 40%.

Soybean conditions held steady this past week, with 57% of the crop still rated in good-to-excellent condition through Sunday. Another 28% is rated fair, with the remaining 15% rated poor or very poor.

Physiologically, nearly all (96%) of the crop is now dropping leaves, up from 91% a week ago and ahead of the prior five-year average of 94%. Harvest progress jumped from 44% last week to 63%. That makes this season’s harvest faster than both 2021’s pace of 58% as well as the prior five-year average of 52%.

Other regional harvests worth noting include:

  • Sunflowers – 22%, up from 9% last week

  • Sugarbeets – 67%, up from 33% last week

  • Sorghum – 57%, up from 46% last week

  • Cotton – 37%, up from 29% last week

  • Rice – 89%, up from 81% last week

The 2022/23 winter wheat crop is still getting planted, meantime. Progress moved from 55% a week ago up to 69% as of Sunday. That mirror’s 2021’s pace and is slightly ahead of the prior five-year average of 68%.

Click here for more data from the latest USDA crop progress report.

About the Author(s)

Ben Potter

Senior editor, Farm Futures

Senior Editor Ben Potter brings more than 14 years of professional agricultural communications and journalism experience to Farm Futures. He began working in the industry in the highly specific world of southern row crop production. Since that time, he has expanded his knowledge to cover a broad range of topics relevant to agriculture, including agronomy, machinery, technology, business, marketing, politics and weather. He has won several writing awards from the American Agricultural Editors Association, most recently on two features about drones and farmers who operate distilleries as a side business. Ben is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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