The 2020 harvest season is officially in the home stretch, with more than eight out of every 10 acres now out of the fields, according to the latest weekly USDA crop progress report, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through November 1.
Corn harvest is now 82% complete through Sunday, up from 72% a week ago. Analysts were expecting a slightly faster pace, with an average estimate of 83% -- although individual guesses ranged between 80% and 88%. Harvest is well ahead of the prior five-year average of 69% and significantly faster than 2019’s dismal pace of 49%.
Wide variability still exists around the Corn Belt, meantime. Ohio has the furthest to go, with only 41% of the state’s corn harvested through Sunday. Michigan (53%) and Wisconsin (55%) have significant inroads to make as well. North Carolina (97%) is the farthest along among the top 18 production states.
The 2020 soybean harvest also took a step toward completion this past week, moving from 83% to 87%. Analysts expected USDA to report progress of 91%, with individual guesses ranging between 88% and 95%. This year’s pace is far ahead of 2019’s pace of 71% and slightly ahead of the prior five-year average of 83%.
A look at the top 18 production states show that USDA has marked Nebraska and North Dakota at 100% this week. Southern states North Carolina (29%), Kentucky (56%) and Tennessee (58%) have made the least amount of progress so far.
Just as the corn and soybean harvests are drawing to a close, so are 2020/21 winter wheat plantings, which reached 89% completion through Sunday, keeping it ahead of 2019’s pace of 88% and the prior five-year average of 86%. Seventy-one percent of the crop is now emerged, up from 62% a week ago and just ahead of the prior five-year average of 70%.
Crop quality improved this week, but not as much as analysts had hoped. Forty-three percent of the crop is now in good-to-excellent condition, firming two points from a week ago. Another 38% is rated fair (down two points from last week), with the remaining 19% rated poor or very poor (unchanged from last week).
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