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Though still behind schedule, the combines are rolling

Agriculture.com Staff 10/06/2008 @ 2:57pm

Just as progress was throughout the growing season, harvest is moving along slower than normal. That's according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report.

Overall, 14% of the nation's corn crop has been harvested, compared to the previous five-year average of 30%, according to Monday's report. It's 25% behind last year's harvest progress.

More progress has been made with soybean harvest; As of Sunday, 31% of the nation's beans were out of the field, compared to 43% as of this week last year and the previous five-year average of 41%. Farmers made double-digit progress, as Monday's number was up 22% from a week ago.

Tardy crop maturation is largely to blame for the harvest hold-up. As of Sunday, 73% of the country's corn was mature. That number's 22% lower than it was a year ago, and 16% off the previous five year average. Soybeans are also dropping leaves at a slower pace than a year ago, with that crop's development still nine percent behind a year ago. That's not keeping all farmers out of the field, though.

"Just started today and the beans are small in size but fairly big on yield," says Agriculture Online Crop Talk member and South Dakota farmer non profit farmer. "A 45-acre field went 40 [bushels per acre] and the next field is going 47. The small bean size will be an advantage next spring if the seed beans are also small."

Elsewhere, farmers are finding proof of USDA's Monday numbers, mainly in fields where the crop's not quite at full maturity, but the combines are still rolling.

"I started yesterday in northern Illinois: Cut 76 acres. Some of the beans are a little small, but not bad (13.5% moisture, yielding 61 bushels per acre)," writes Crop Talk member GR Farmer. "Stems are still green and a few leaves yet, and the ground is wet and beans are tough to cut."

In other crops, development was closer to the average pace. Winter wheat seedings are one point behind the normal pace at 59% completed, while emergence was tabbed at 28% by Sunday compared to the 30% previous five-year average.

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Just as progress was throughout the growing season, harvest is moving along slower than normal. That's according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report.

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