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Corn harvest pace slowing down

10/23/2012 @ 7:47am

Corn harvest as of this past Sunday remained record-fast for the nation at 87 percent done; the previous record for October 21 was an 81 percent completion mark set in 1991. Corn harvest is virtually complete now in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota, with the harvest progress numbers in those states at least at 89 percent complete as of Sunday.

The national soybean harvest pace has been slower than the corn harvest all throughout this fall, and that was again the case this week with the national harvest at 80 percent done. That is not much faster than a year ago, and is actually 8 percentage points slower than two years ago. The soybean harvest is virtually complete for Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin with those states showing harvest completion numbers this week of at least 95 percent.

This latter part of the harvest has certainly been slower than the first part since rainfall has been much more common as of late in the Corn Belt. Significant precipitation (mostly rain, but light snow for late tomorrow night into early Thursday in the far northwest) will spread across the region again for tomorrow night into Friday.

It is very possible that far eastern parts of the Corn Belt, especially eastern Michigan and all of Ohio, could also be influenced by a big storm early next week in the northeastern part of the country, and if indeed that is the case, those areas could see significant amounts of snow. Note that Ohio farmers still have more than a third of their soybeans left to harvest right now, and still more than 20 percent is left to combine in Michigan. Pennsylvania may very well get hit the hardest by snows next week, and that state still has 42 percent of its corn crop left to gather. (Half the corn is in the field in Ohio and Michigan as well.) 

The rest of the Corn Belt is looking at dry conditions for the weekend and next week that will allow for remaining harvesting to get done there, with the biggest story in those areas being below- to much below-normal temperatures for the final days of this month and into the opening days of November. Little or no rain remains in the 10-day forecast for the still-dry winter wheat areas of the Plains.


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