Harvest slows as finish line nears
In another couple of weeks, corn and soybean harvest should be completed.
That's the theme of Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report that shows 78% of the nation's corn and 87% of the soybean crop have been harvested. Though progress gains were slimmer than the previous weeks as moisture crept into a wider area of the Corn Belt, those numbers are still well ahead of the previous average pace.
A lot of corn and soybean farmers are done with harvest. And, as far as the market's concerned, harvest is basically "finished" now, even though there's still a lot of corn and bean fields to knock out.
But, the government and market's definition of completion -- at least in terms of harvest progress -- are quite a bit different than it is for those farmers in some areas who continue to fight unruly weather to get their fall fieldwork done before winter sets in.
Corn and soybean harvest is still moving at a fairly decent clip; the last 3 weeks have seen double-digit progress each week, according to USDA's recent Crop Progress reports. But, Mother Nature's stepped in over the last week or so, in some areas, in the form of unseasonably early snowfall in parts of the eastern Corn Belt and Northeast. And, more moisture's in the outlook.
"A few light rain showers were noted across the northern and eastern Midwest this past weekend...However, showers are expected to build back into the west-central Midwest and north-central Plains by mid week," says MDA EarthSat Weather meteorologist Don Keeney. "The rains in the western Midwest will slow corn and soybean harvesting a bit. More limited rains in the eastern Midwest after today will allow harvesting there to progress well."
Progress in the latter region will be welcomed, as farmers there continue to wait on better conditions. Though USDA's numbers Monday will likely show progress beyond the previous average pace for both corn and soybeans, there are still a lot of intact fields in eastern states.
"The numbers this afternoon will still show quite a bit of corn and soybeans left to be harvested in Michigan, Indiana, and especially Ohio," says Freese-Notis Weather, Inc., meteorologist Craig Solberg.
"We still have a few fields of soybeans in the area ready to harvest. This is the latest harvest I can remember," says Agriculture.com Marketing Talk senior contributor Blacksandfarmer. "I would say it's later than the 2009 harvest that took a long time due to high-moisture corn."