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USDA crop progress: Corn harvest – only 9% to go

Soybean harvest also moved closer to completion last week.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

November 15, 2021

2 Min Read
Combine harvesting bean field

With a few weather-related hiccups in the rearview mirror, the 2021 corn and soybean harvests moved even closer to completion last week, per data from the latest USDA crop progress report, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through Nov. 14. Progress is a little uneven between the two crops, with corn trending moderately faster than the prior five-year average and soybeans just behind the prior five-year average.

Corn harvest progress reached 91% through Sunday, up from 84% a week earlier and mirroring analyst estimates. This year’s harvest is unable to match 2020’s pace of 94% but remains five points ahead of the prior five-year average of 86%. USDA has marked the southern states of Texas and North Carolina as 100% complete, with more of the top production states likely to join the club over the next couple of weeks.

The 2021 soybean harvest moved from 87% complete a week ago up to 92% through Sunday, which was identical to the average trade estimate. Still, this year’s progress is a bit slow compared to 2020’s pace of 95% and the prior five-year average of 93%. USDA marked three of the top 18 production states as 100% complete – Louisiana, Minnesota and North Dakota.

Other row crop harvests of note include:

  • Cotton: 65% complete (up from 55% last week)

  • Sorghum: 89% complete (up from 86% last week)

  • Peanuts: 86% complete (up from 79% last week)

  • Sunflowers: 83% complete (up from 70% last week)

Meanwhile, the 2021/22 winter wheat crop is almost finally all in the ground, with 94% progress through Sunday. That’s two points behind 2020’s pace of 96% but identical to the prior five-year average. And 81% of the crop is emerged, up from 74% a week ago and versus the prior five-year average of 83%.

Analysts assumed USDA would leave quality ratings unchanged, but the agency pushed them a point higher, with 46% of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 33% is rated fair (up a point from last week), with the remaining 20% rated poor or very poor (down two points from last week).

Click here to read today’s USDA crop progress report for more information on the aforementioned crops, along with a look at topsoil and subsoil moisture levels.

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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