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Crop progress: Soybean harvest has started

Nearly 1 in 10 corn acres are now out of the field.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

September 18, 2023

2 Min Read
Green combine harvesting soybean field at dusk
Getty Images/Scott Olson

As fall approaches, all eyes turn toward the upcoming 2023 corn and soybean harvest. Last week marked the first time USDA offered corn harvest data in its crop progress reports. Today’s report, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through September 17, offered its initial soybean harvest data points. USDA also served up spring wheat harvest updates, winter wheat planting progress and more.

Corn quality ratings eased another point lower this past week, matching analyst expectations. Just over half (52%) of the crop is rated in good-to-excellent condition through Sunday, down from 53% a week earlier. Another 29% of the crop is rated fair (down one point from last week), with the remaining 20% rated poor or very poor (up two points from last week).

Physiologically, 90% of the crop is now dented, up from 82% a week ago and ahead of the prior five-year average of 87%. And 54% is now fully mature, up from 34% and also ahead of the prior five-year average of 44%. Harvest pace moved from 5% a week ago up to 9% through Sunday, which is better than 2022’s pace and the prior five-year average, which both came in at 7%.

Soybean quality ratings were mostly steady, with 52% of the crop still in good-to-excellent condition through September 17. Another 30% is rated fair (unchanged from last week), with the remaining 18% rated poor or very poor (also unchanged from last week).

Physiologically, 54% of the crop is now dropping leaves, up from 31% a week ago and well ahead of the prior five-year average of 43%. Harvest reached 5% last week, which is a bit ahead of both 2022’s pace of 3% as well as the prior five-year average of 4%.

The spring wheat harvest is very near completion, moving from 87% a week ago up to 93% through Sunday. That mirror’s both 2022’s pace as well as the prior five-year average. Of the top six production states, Idaho (87%) still has the most progress yet to make.

Winter wheat plantings also made some inroads last week, moving from 7% as of September 10 up to 15% through September 17. That’s slower than 2022’s pace of 19% and just behind the prior five-year average of 16%.

Click here for more from the latest UDSA crop progress report, including harvest progress for regional crops such as rice, peanuts, sugarbeets, sorghum and more.

Read more about:

Crop Progress

About the Author(s)

Ben Potter

Senior editor, Farm Futures

Senior Editor Ben Potter brings two decades 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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