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Harvest near its end in western Corn Belt

Jeff Caldwell 11/07/2011 @ 3:56pm Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

Farmers in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan still have a good amount of corn to pick, but elsewhere, they're either at or near the finish line for this year's corn and soybean harvest.

Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report shows the nation's farmers have 87% of the nation's corn and 92% of its soybeans harvested as of Sunday. The pace slipped again slightly this last week, though farmers remain ahead of the previous average pace by a handful of percentage points each, according to Monday's numbers.

The major crop story to start this week centers on the weather. Considerable rains have fallen in the western Corn Belt, where harvest is virtually wrapped up. But, rain's also falling in the eastern Corn Belt, where farmers in states like Indiana and Ohio still have up to half of their crops to harvest. As much as 4 inches of rain could fall in those areas in the next few days, according to Freese-Notis Weather, Inc. Fortunately, farmers in Ohio -- the area with the largest amount of this year's crop left to harvest -- will likely be spared from the bulk of the moisture.

"It is a storm that will stop harvesting in the western Corn Belt, but so little is left to do there that it has to be considered as beneficial moisture for an area that has really been drying out as of late," according to Freese-Notis on this week's wet outlook. "Ohio is the area where a lot of corn and soybean harvesting is still to be done, but that is a state that is likely going to see very little precipitation throughout this week."

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