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Corn harvest off to fast start

09/07/2010 @ 3:43pm

CHICAGO, Illinois (Agriculture.com)--USDA Tuesday estimated the U.S. corn crop is 6% harvested, ahead of a five-year average.

In its weekly Crop Progress Report, the USDA pegged corn harvest at 6% compared to 2% a year ago and a 4% five-year average. USDA rated the corn crop as 69% good/excellent, 20% fair, and 11% very poor-poor.

Also, 33% of the U.S. corn is described as 'mature' vs. 8% a year ago and a 19% five-year average. The USDA says 86% of the crop is in the dented stage compared to just 48% a year ago and 71% five-year average. U.S. corn is 98% dented, ahead of 85% a year ago and a 93% five-year average.

For soybeans, the USDA rated the crop as 64% good/excellent, 24% fair, and 12% very poor-poor. Also, 19% of the crop's leaves are dropping, ahead of 7% from a year ago, and a 15% five-year average.

Jason Ward, Northstar Commodity Investment Co., says the USDA data is seen as negative to the grain markets. 

"The results of the corn/soy ratings were down 1% on corn to 69% good/excellent. This is identical to this week a year ago for corn. Soybeans were unchanged this week at 64% good/excellent. They were 68% good/excellent a year ago," Ward says.

"My initial reaction is neutral-to-slightly negative as the trade was expecting declines across both corn/soybeans," Ward says.

USDA pegged the U.S. Spring wheat harvest as 76% completed vs. 56% a year ago and an 85% five-year average. 

Finally, the U.S. cotton harvest is 6% complete, equal to a year ago, the USDA says.

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