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Thanksgiving dinner in the combine cab

Agriculture.com Staff 11/23/2009 @ 2:34pm

There will be a lot of Thanksgiving dinners eaten from the cab of the combine this year. That is, if Mother Nature relents her precipitation onslaught long enough for farmers to make some much-needed progress on this year's corn harvest.

The 2009 soybean crop's about history: According to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report, 94% of the nation's beans are in the bin, just 3% off the previous 5-year average. Look at the corn progress and it's a whole different story: 68% of the crop is harvested. Usually, 94% of the crop's in the bin.

Harvest gains were sharper moving eastward through the Corn Belt in the last week, with some around 20% gains in progress in states like Ohio and Michigan. While good progress was made elsewhere (Nebraska and Iowa both saw almost 20% jumps in progress in the last week), some areas remain painfully behind the norm. In North Dakota, for example, farmers have picked 21% of the state's corn versus the previous average of 83%.

And, with the ongoing weather delays stemming from weekend rains that will stretch through this holiday-shortened week ("It is going to be a slower go of it from now through Thanksgiving though as precipitation will be on the increase," according to Freese-Notis Weather, Inc.), farmers are reporting rapidly deteriorating field conditions in the face of ongoing moisture concerns. Farmers from Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa and Indiana say they're about done with beans, but a lot of corn remains standing on their farms, and they're starting to get a little worried.

"Done with beans and half done with corn. Moisture on corn is down to 18% to 20%, but dryer gas is still hard to get," says Agriculture.com Marketing Talk member kfarms9560. "Just an average crop here and never in my 30 years of farming have we not been done picking by Thanksgiving, but that will change this year. If it doesn't rain anymore, we won't run until Monday or Tuesday but they have rain in the forecast again."

"We have picked corn in December here so we are counting our blessings for this year and hoping all of the rest of you still out there have a speedy, safe and profitable completion to your harvest," mll43 says.

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There will be a lot of Thanksgiving dinners eaten from the cab of the combine this year. That is, if Mother Nature relents her precipitation onslaught long enough for farmers to make some much-needed progress on this year's corn harvest.

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