A lot of corn remains in the field, especially in the Western Corn Belt according to USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey. Wet weather this fall has pushed harvest farther back than usual. Rippey says five states still have more than 30% of their corn crops yet to harvest.
"That does include Iowa that is 70% harvested with the five year average 95%," Rippey says. "Even more dramatic, we see in the Dakotas: only 59% harvested in South Dakota; five-year average is 91% and in North Dakota only one-third of the crop has been harvested by Nov. 16 and that should be 88% for the five year average."
Those states are dragging the national percentage down to 78% harvested compared to 97% a year ago. Meanwhile soybean harvest is right on schedule with over 95% of the crop harvested.
Winter wheat is also looking extremely good in most areas according to Rippey with nearly all of it planted and emergence right on track.
"The winter wheat condition, we have two-thirds of the crop rated good to excellent and only 7% of the crop rated very poor to poor," Rippey says. "That's just a small decline in condition nationally from last week when we were looking at 68% and 6% respectively."
Those numbers far outpace last year when only 45% of the crop was rated good to excellent. Rippey says recent rains in the Plains, Eastern Corn Belt and Ohio River Valley have helped and there are good prospects for this year's winter wheat crop.