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Crop progress: Soybean harvest closes in on the finish lineCrop progress: Soybean harvest closes in on the finish line

Corn harvest also makes decent inroads this past week

Ben Potter

October 31, 2023

2 Min Read
Getty Images

There are only a handful of USDA crop progress reports remaining for the 2023 season, which is all the more evident after looking at the agency’s latest updates to this year’s corn and soybean harvests, which are both moving closer and closer to 100% completion. USDA also refreshed its data on several key regional crop harvests, along with some new data points on the 2023/24 winter wheat crop.

Corn harvest moved from 59% a week ago up to 71% through October 29. That was a bit above analyst expectations, who had offered an average trade guess of 69%. That puts this year’s effort behind 2022’s pace of 74% but moderately ahead of the prior five-year average of 66%.

The 2023 soybean harvest is even closer to completion, moving from 76% last week up to 85% through Sunday, mirroring analyst expectations. As with corn, this year’s pace is slightly behind 2022 (87%) but still ahead of the prior five-year average (78%).

Other regional crops also made some harvest progress last week, including:

  • Sorghum = 77% (up from 67% last week)

  • Cotton = 49% (up from 41% last week)

  • Peanuts = 69% (up from 55% last week)

  • Rice = 95% (up from 91% last week)

  • Sugarbeets = 84% (up from 72% last week)

  • Sunflowers = 40% (up from 27% last week)

Winter wheat plantings moved from 77% completion a week ago up to 84% through October 29. That has this season off to a slightly slower start compared to 2022’s pace of 86% and the prior five-year average of 85%. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of the crop is now emerged, up from 53% a week ago and identical to the prior five-year average.

USDA also gave its first winter wheat quality ratings for the current crop. Forty-seven percent is rated in good-to-excellent condition. That was identical to the average trade guess, which was impressive considering individual estimates ranged between 31% and 63%. Another 35% of the crop is rated fair, with the remaining 18% rated poor or very poor.

Click here for more data from the latest UDSA crop progress report, including state-by-state pasture and range conditions.

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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