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Crop progress as expected -- USDA

Jordan Anderson 10/21/2013 @ 4:05pm Digital Content Editor for Successful Farming magazine and Agriculture.com

Since the government recently reopened and the past two Crop Progress reports were cancelled, this week’s report has been much anticipated. Trade expected that 40% of the corn to be harvested and 60% of this year’s soybeans. Those numbers were close to or under-estimated according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report.

As of Sunday, 39% of the corn crop is out of the field, compared to the 53% average completion rate by this week. Corn labeled as “good to excellent” sits at 60%. Last year at this time, farmers had 85% of the crop harvested. Moisture content of all Iowa corn in the field was estimated at 22%, while moisture content of corn harvested was 19%.

Soybean harvest is further along than the trade expected last week too, with farmers completing the harvest of 63% of this year's crop vs. the previous average of 69% for this week; 57% is reported to be “good to excellent.” Numbers are down from last year when farmers had harvested 79% of the soybean crop.

Furthermore, 79% of winter wheat is planted, following right along with averages and last year’s progress at 79% and 80%, respectively.

Many people wondered how much of an effect the government shutdown would have on the market prices. Jack Scoville, PRICE Futures Group vice president, says the market will digest these harvested acreage numbers fairly quickly.

"Not a shocker here. They (harvested estimates) are close to being in line. I don’t think there will be much reaction for now," said Scoville.

While less-than-ideal weather seems to continue, many farmers are pleased with the yields of their crops. According to Doug Cropp, grain division manager with Landmark Cooperative in Cottage Grove, “most” soybean yields range from 45 to 55 bushels per acre locally. The bulk of corn has “consistently” been between 150 and 170 bushels, with some yields as high as 220 bushels.

The forecast continues to address cooler-than-normal temperatures across the Midwest and East, with numerous freezes in many locations. Looking for precipitation this week as a rain/snow mixture, most of the accumulation sticking to the northern Plains and New England. 

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