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Rains trip up fall harvest progress

Jeff Caldwell 10/22/2012 @ 3:27pm Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

Mother Nature's definitely trimmed corn and soybean harvest gains in the Midwest this week; last week was the slowest such period since harvest got rolling 100% earlier this fall.

Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report shows 87% of the nation's corn crop is out of the field and in the bin, up 8% from last week's report. It's still well ahead of the normal pace for this week (49%), but a turn toward much-needed wetter weather in the last 10 days has trimmed progress levels that were in record territory for overall harvest progress.

But the rain delays aren't causing much consternation among Corn Belt farmers. For many, the reason for the delay far outweighs the setback itself, says Cargill senior grain merchandiser in Eddyville, Iowa, Ray Jenkins.

"We had another nice rain across southern Iowa early this morning, with some places up 3 to 4 inches for the month of October. And even though it’s harvest, I hear very few complaints about the fact that corn harvest may drag on for another week or two longer than expected," he said Monday afternoon. "I had fully expected corn to be 95% complete by October 15, but we seem to have found a way to stretch it out until at least the first of November this year."

Monday's report also shows soybean harvest has reached 80% completion, up from 71% a week ago. That's compared to the previous five-year average of 69%.

Despite the recent rains, however, the majority responding to an Agriculture.com poll say it's not enough. In early returns, 66% say eitiher recent rains haven't been enough to make a dent in the moisture shortfall, or they simply "haven't seen any rain lately."


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