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Corn harvest nears 3X normal pace -- USDA

Jeff Caldwell 10/01/2012 @ 3:29pm Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

The grain markets felt some major pressure on Monday from a couple of factors, the biggest one being corn and soybean harvest that remains way ahead of the normal pace.

As of Sunday, 54% of the nation's corn crop has been harvested. That's almost 3 times the normal progress level of 20% for this week, and marks a 15% climb over the last week. States in the Plains, mid-South and Corn Belt all showed major progress, with Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky (88%, 71% and 80%, respectively) all seeing big steps toward completion.

Soybean harvest, though not quite as far ahead of schedule, also did see another big week of progress last week, too; now, soybean farmers have 41% of that crop out of the ground compared to the previous average of 19% as of this week. Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa all made huge strides in the last 7 days, at 76%, 79% and 54% complete, respectively.

The corn market didn't appear too concerned with the accelerated harvest pace for that crop, as the December futures contract only lost 1/2 cent in Monday's session. On the other side of the coin, November soybeans ended the day 40 cents lower at $15.60, while December wheat lost 20 cents to settle at $9.07. This isn't a sign that the strength in the markets from late last week has already left the markets for good, says analyst and Successful Farming magazine columnist Alan Kluis.

"I expect money to flow in the grain markets later this week," he told Agriculture.com Markets Editor Mike McGinnis on Monday. "The weakness is a good opportunity to buy -- not the time of the year to sell."

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