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Crop progress: Corn, soybean harvests slightly slower than expectedCrop progress: Corn, soybean harvests slightly slower than expected

Winter wheat plantings make solid headway in the week through October 1.

Ben Potter

October 2, 2023

2 Min Read
Combine unloading grain into grain cart in corn field
Getty Images/Scott Olson

USDA’s newest crop progress report, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through October 1, didn’t have many notable surprises for traders to digest. The agency did show corn and soybean harvest progressing a bit more slowly than analysts were expecting. Corn quality held steady, while soybean quality shifted two points higher. Winter wheat plantings also moved closer to the halfway mark this past week.

Corn quality ratings were mostly stable this past week, with 53% in good-to-excellent condition through Sunday. Another 29% of the crop is rated fair, with the remaining 18% rated poor or very poor. Pennsylvania continues to lead the way among the top 18 production states, with 81% of its crop rated in good-to-excellent condition.

Physiologically, 82% of the crop is now fully mature, versus 70% a week ago and favorable to the prior five-year average of 75%. Harvest pace has reached 23%, which was slightly below the average trade guess of 25%. That’s still above the prior five-year average of 21%, however.

Soybean quality ratings trended another two points higher last week, with 52% of the crop now in good-to-excellent condition. Analysts were expecting to see steady ratings, in contrast. Another 31% of the crop is rated fair (down one point from last week), with the remaining 17% rated poor or very poor (down one point from last week).

Physiologically, 86% of the crop is now dropping leaves, up from 73% a week ago and faster than the prior five-year average of 77%. Harvest pace moved from 12% a week ago up to 23% through Sunday, putting this season’s effort slightly ahead of the prior five-year average of 22% but slightly behind the average trade guess of 25%.

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

  • Sorghum = 35% (up from 28% last week)

  • Cotton = 18% (up from 13% last week)

  • Peanuts = 16% (up from 8% last week)

  • Sugarbeets = 15% (up from 13% last week)

Winter wheat plantings moved from 26% a week ago up to 40% through October 1, mirroring trade expectations. That puts the current crop’s pace slightly ahead of 2022’s mark of 39% but slightly behind the prior five-year average of 43%.

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

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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