Few harvest rain delays likely
The national corn harvest as of October 14 was still easily the fastest ever seen for the nation, but the soybean harvest pace of this year has now been surpassed by a couple other recent years. For corn, the 79% harvest pace as of this past Sunday broke the old mark of 68% set in 1991. (Note that in 2009 we did not reach 79% completed for the national corn harvest until the final day of November!)
Farmers in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, and South Dakota are now largely done with the corn harvest, as those states report completion rates of at least 85%. For soybeans, the national harvest pace of 71% this week was still well ahead of the five-year average of 58%, but was actually slower than the 76% completion pace of 2010 and 72% in 2000 (matching the 71% pace of 2005).
Farmers are largely finished with the soybean harvest in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Wisconsin with the completion rates in those states at 85% or higher. The pace at which we'll harvest remaining acreage in the Midwest in the days ahead is not going to be as fast as in recent weeks, given that soils in much of the region are wet right now after weekend rains and more rain is forecast for a lot of the area for tomorrow to Friday.
The pattern clearly does not look wet enough, however, for me to have any concerns about market-impacting delays (especially with so much of the crops already gathered). Most are still going to welcome the additional moisture to combat long-term drought and put additional moisture into the topsoil for fall tillage and anhydrous applications. The moisture, of course, is also good for the winter wheat crop in the eastern Corn Belt, and warmer temperatures for the weekend and early next week will help that young crop take advantage of the moisture to put on some growth.
Cooler weather will be arriving, though, for later next week, and it does look like a chilly end to the month of October across a lot of the Midwest region. It remains a situation where areas of the southern Plains winter wheat belt that are too dry right now will not see that situation show any improvement, with little or no rain in the forecast for the duration of the 10-day forecast period.
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