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Soybean Harvest Picks Up Speed; Corn Harvest Falls Further Behind Normal | Rural Radio Network

Soybean Harvest Picks Up Speed; Corn Harvest Falls Further Behind Normal

Soybean Harvest Picks Up Speed; Corn Harvest Falls Further Behind Normal

OMAHA (DTN) — The U.S. soybean harvest picked up speed while the corn harvest continued to fall further behind the average pace for the week ended Oct. 22, according to USDA’s latest Crop Progress report released on Monday.

USDA estimated that 38% of corn was harvested as of Sunday, 21 percentage points behind 59% last year and also a five-year average of 59% harvested. In last Monday’s report, the corn harvest was 19 points behind the average pace.

Sixty-six percent of the corn crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition, resulting in a DTN Corn Condition Index of 157, up 2 points from the previous week. DTN’s index is down from 175 a year ago and is still lower than the previous three years.

“Monday’s slow harvest progress was neutral to bullish for corn prices,” said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman.

While corn harvest continued to move slowly, the soybean harvest gained momentum last week, jumping 21 percentage points from the previous week and coming to within 3 percentage points of the average pace. That was an improvement from last Monday’s report when soybean harvest lagged the average pace by 11 points. USDA estimated that 70% of the soybean crop was harvested as of Sunday, down from 74% a year ago and down from a five-year average of 73% harvested. USDA has stopped reporting national soybean crop conditions for the year.

“Monday’s report was neutral for soybeans,” Hultman said.

Meanwhile, USDA said 75% of winter wheat was planted as of Sunday, down from 78% a year ago and below the five-year average of 80% planted. Fifty-two percent of winter wheat was emerged, down from 58% a year ago and down from a five-year average of 57%.

“Monday’s report of wheat progress was neutral for winter wheat prices,” Hultman said.

Sorghum was 47% harvested, behind the five-year average of 59%.

Cotton was 87% in the bolls opening stage and the crop was 37% harvested nationwide, slightly ahead of the average pace of 35% harvested.

The following are highlights from weekly crop progress reports issued by National Ag Statistics Service offices in individual states. To view the full reports from each state, visit…


Temperatures averaged 4 to 8 degrees above normal across Nebraska last week. Only minimal precipitation was recorded in the northwest and a few eastern counties, which allowed farmers to take advantage of the open week to make significant progress on the state’s soybean harvest. There were 6.5 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 2% very short, 8% short, 84% adequate and 6% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 3% very short, 14% short, 80% adequate and 3% surplus. Corn condition rated 66% good to excellent. Corn mature was 97%, near 99% last year, and equal to the five-year average. Harvested was 26%, well behind 48% last year and 52% average. Soybean condition rated 64% good to excellent. Soybeans harvested was 67%, behind 76% last year and 83% average. Winter wheat condition was rated 54% good to excellent. Winter wheat planted was 94%, near 98% average. Emerged was 77%, behind 82% average. Sorghum condition was rated 75% good to excellent. Sorghum mature was 96%, near 98% average. Harvested was 34%, behind 51% average.


Above-normal temperatures continued across Kansas last week. Rainfall totals of 1 to 2 inches were common across many eastern counties, while western and central counties remained mostly dry. There were 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture rated 2% very short, 13% short, 78% adequate and 7% surplus. Subsoil moisture rated 3% very short, 17% short, 76% adequate and 4% surplus. Winter wheat planted was 67%, behind 82% last year and 86% for the five-year average. Emerged was 41%, well behind 61% last year 63% average. Corn mature was 95%, behind 100% last year, and near 99% average. Harvested was 65%, well behind 85% last year, and behind 82% average. Soybean condition rated 5% very poor, 12% poor, 36% fair, 41% good and 6% excellent. Soybeans dropping leaves was 96%, near 94% last year and 95% average. Harvested was 56%, ahead of 49% last year, and near 55% average. Sorghum condition rated 2% very poor, 8% poor, 32% fair, 46% good and 12% excellent. Sorghum mature was 87%, behind 94% last year, and near 89% average. Harvested was 24%, well behind 54% last year and 45% average. Cotton condition rated 3% very poor, 8% poor, 29% fair, 55% good and 5% excellent. Cotton bolls opening was 87%, ahead of 82% last year, and near 83% average. Harvested was 9%, near 8% both last year and average.


Warm and dry weather helped harvest activities advance last week. Winter wheat planting was also nearing completion with emergence picking up. In northeastern counties, reporters noted that sugar beet harvest was in full swing, with harvest of hay winding down. Reporters also noted that more producers were beginning corn harvest as grain moisture levels dropped. In southeastern counties, a reporter noted that many producers were still waiting to begin sorghum and corn harvest while crops dry down. Statewide, corn was rated 78% good to excellent, compared with 76% last year. Topsoil moisture: 1% very short, 10% short, 87% adequate, 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture: 2% very short, 14% short, 82% adequate, 2% surplus.


Iowa farmers had a good week for harvesting with 5.0 days suitable for fieldwork. However, corn and soybean harvest progress remains behind both the previous year and the five-year average. On the positive side, there were several reports for both corn and soybeans that yields were better than expected. Activities for the week included harvesting corn for grain and soybeans, spreading manure, applying fertilizer, and starting fall tillage. Topsoil moisture levels were rated 3% very short, 6% short, 79% adequate and 12% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 7% very short, 15% short, 71% adequate and 7% surplus. Nearly all of the corn for grain crop had reached maturity or beyond, three days behind average. Twenty-three percent of the corn for grain crop has been harvested, remaining the smallest percentage harvested by this date since 2009 and over two weeks behind average. Moisture content of corn being harvested for grain averaged 20%. Corn condition rated 64% good to excellent. Nearly a third of the soybean crop was harvested this past week increasing to 61% harvested, but this is also the smallest percentage harvested by this date since 2009. Southwest and south-central Iowa remain the only districts to not reach 50% harvested. Soybean condition rated 64% good to excellent.

South Dakota

Fall harvest progressed thanks to dry, warm weather. Strong, southerly winds ushered in above-average temperatures across most of the state. The warm weather, combined with little to no precipitation, allowed significant advancement in soybean harvest. Fall tillage, fertilizer applications, and cover-crop seeding were also ongoing in some areas. There were 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork. Statewide, topsoil moisture supplies were rated 14 percent very short, 21% short, 63% adequate and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 23 percent very short, 26% short, 50% adequate and 1% surplus. Corn mature was 95%, near 98 for the five-year average, and harvested was 19 percent, well behind 51% average. Soybeans harvested was 81 percent, behind 90% average. Winter wheat planted was 96 percent, near 94% average, and emerged was 80 percent, ahead of 61% average. Winter wheat condition was rated 18% good to excellent. Sorghum harvested was 21 percent, well behind 63% average.

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Mature 96 90 99 97
Corn Harvested 38 28 59 59
Soybeans Dropping Leaves 97 94 98 97
Soybeans Harvested 70 49 74 73
Winter Wheat Planted 75 60 78 80
Winter Wheat Emerged 52 37 58 57
Cotton Bolls Opening 87 82 92 91
Cotton Harvested 37 31 38 35
Sorghum Mature 89 81 93 90
Sorghum Harvested 47 40 66 59
Rice Harvested 98 91 96 93
National Crop Condition Summary
(VP=Very Poor; P=Poor; F=Fair; G=Good; E=Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
Corn 3 8 23 50 16 3 8 24 50 15 2 5 19 54 20
Sorghum 2 6 27 52 13 2 6 27 52 13 1 5 29 51 14
Cotton 5 9 30 42 14 5 8 29 43 15 4 12 36 39 9
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