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Crop progress: Soybean harvest races forwardCrop progress: Soybean harvest races forward

Corn harvest also makes solid inroads through mid-October.

Ben Potter

October 16, 2023

2 Min Read
Combine unloading into grain cart in soybean field
Getty Images/iStockPhoto

Analysts were expecting to see solid progress for the 2023 corn and soybean harvests when USDA released its latest crop progress report Monday afternoon. The agency more than complied. Soybean harvest was noticeably above the average trade guess, while the corn harvest pace, in contrast, moved forward a bit more slowly than analysts were anticipating.

This season’s corn harvest moved from 34% a week ago up to 45% as of October 15. That was slightly below the average trade guess of 46%. There’s a pretty broad range among the top 18 production states, from Wisconsin (14%) all the way up to North Caroline (94%). This year’s pace is swifter than 2022’s mark of 43% and the prior five-year average of 42%.

Quality ratings were mostly steady, with 53% of the crop still in good-to-excellent conditions. Another 29% is rated fair (unchanged from last week), with the remaining 18% rated poor or very poor (also unchanged from last week).

Soybean quality ratings moved another point higher, with 52% of the crop now in good-to-excellent condition. Analysts were not to see any changes. Another 30% of the crop is rated fair (down one point from last week), with the remaining 18% rated poor or very poor (unchanged from last week).

Physiologically, 97% of the crop is now dropping leaves, up from 93% last week. Harvest progress jumped from 43% a week ago up to 62% through Sunday. That was noticeably faster than the average trade guess of 57%. It’s also faster than 2022’s pace of 60% and the prior five-year average of 52%.

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

  • Sorghum = 53% (up from 44% last week)

  • Cotton = 33% (up from 25% last week)

  • Peanuts = 2742% (up from % last week)27

  • Sugarbeets = 50% (up from 21% last week)

More than two-thirds (68%) of this season’s winter wheat crop has now been planted, up from 57% a week ago and mirroring the prior five-year average. And 39% of the crop is now emerged, which is up from 29% a week ago and four points below the prior five-year average.

Click here for more data 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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