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Combines rolling: Corn harvest ahead of schedule, soybeans getting started

Agriculture.com Staff 09/17/2007 @ 2:46pm

Farmers made solid corn harvest progress over the last week, jumping to 14% complete compared to the previous average of nine-percent progress for this week, according to this week's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report released Monday afternoon.

The most notable corn harvest progress was seen in Illinois, where as of Sunday, 25% of the crop has been harvested compared to five percent this week last year and seven percent for the previous five-year average. Harvest is also ahead of the average pace in Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky and Missouri.

Soybean harvest, on the other hand, remains on the slower side, with four percent of the crop harvested compared to the previous five-year average progress level of five percent. Single-digit progress levels are seen everywhere except for Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas, where the harvest pace is within a handful of percentage points of the average pace for this week.

Corn ratings improved slightly in the past week, according to Monday's report. As of Sunday, 63% of the crop is in good-to-excellent condition compared to 61% both last week and a year ago. Soybean conditions were unchanged over the past week, with 56% of the crop in good-to-excellent shape.

Based on conditions as observed over the weekend, neither corn nor soybean ratings reflect frost or freeze damages, fears of which that caused CBOT corn and soybean futures to settle higher in Monday trading. But, it's likely data was taken either before freezing temperatures hit or before crop damage could be noted.

The sowing of what could be a vastly increased wheat crop this year has begun but is well behind the average pace, as 14% of the crop is planted compared to the previous average of 20% for this week of the year. According to reports, USDA Chief Economist Keith Collins said Monday the current bullish wheat market may be enough to spur substantial growth in acres.

"It's obviously reasonable, with record-high wheat prices, that we're going to see a lot more wheat planted this fall, but I'm not going to give a number," Collins said Monday, according to a Dow Jones Newswires report.

Farmers made solid corn harvest progress over the last week, jumping to 14% complete compared to the previous average of nine-percent progress for this week, according to this week's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report released Monday afternoon.

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