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Crop progress: Soybean harvest kicks off

USDA also offers updated corn and soybean quality data and much more

Ben Potter

September 19, 2022

2 Min Read
Combine harvesting soybeans

USDA’s new crop progress report, out Monday afternoon and covering the week ending September 18, offered a first peek at 2022 soybean harvest data, along with an updated look at corn harvest, which failed to see much momentum this past week. Quality ratings for both crops eased slightly lower.

Analysts had expected corn quality ratings to hold steady from a week ago, but USDA docked them a point lower in the latest report. Through Sunday, 52% of the crop is in good-to-excellent condition. Another 27% is rated fair (unchanged from last week), with the remaining 21% rated poor or very poor (up a point from last week).

Physiologically, 87% of the crop is now dented, up from 77% last week and slightly behind the prior five-year average of 88%. And 40% is fully mature, up from 25% last week but five points below the prior five-year average of 45%. Harvest is progressing more slowly than expected, moving from 5% a week ago up to 7%. Analysts had expected to see harvest reach 10%.

Soybean ratings were also on the downward slide last week, losing a point to land at 55% rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 30% was rated fair (up a point from last week), with the remaining 15% rated poor or very poor (unchanged from last week).

Physiologically, 42% of the crop is now dropping leaves, up from 22% a week earlier and moderately slower than the prior five-year average of 47%. Harvest reached 3% completion, which is behind 2021’s pace and the prior five-year average, which were both 5%.

The 2022 spring wheat harvest is very close to concluding, with 94% finished through Sunday. That mirrors the prior five-year average, but harvest had concluded by this time last year.

Meantime, winter wheat plantings found some forward momentum last week, moving from 10% a week earlier to 21%. That’s faster than 2021’s pace of 20% and the prior five-year average of 17% so far. Emergence is at 2%, matching the prior five-year average.

Click here for more data from the latest USDA crop progress report, including updates on barley, sorghum, cotton and more.

About the Author(s)

Ben Potter

Senior editor, Farm Futures

Senior Editor Ben Potter brings more than 14 years 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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