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Corn, Soybean Harvest In The Books As Winter Rushes On -- USDA

With the exception of just a handful of acres relative to the entire nation, the 2014 corn and soybean crop is essentially in the books.

Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report shows 94% of the nation's corn crop and 97% of its soybeans have been harvested, both just slight up upticks from last week but right in line with the previous average pace. Farmers in northern reaches of the Midwest still have a considerable amount of corn to harvest; 69% of Michigan's crop is out of the field while 27% remains to harvest in Wisconsin, Monday's report shows. The only state lagging much from the normal pace for soybean harvest are North Carolina and Kentucky, which have 34% and 13% of the crop remaining in the field, respectively. Farmers in all other 16 primary soybean-growing states have fewer than 10% of their acres left to harvest.

In those areas where there's still crop in the field, it may be some time before farmers can get them harvested. Agriculture.com Marketing Talk senior contributor Blacksandfarmer, who farms in Michigan, says there's going to be a lot of harvest work left to do if or when snow on the ground now melts.

"Probably 40% of corn in my area is stranded in the field. Michigan has at least 1 million corn acres left in the field. I finished up with my corn last week," he says. "A couple of my neighbors still have beans out, so I may end up with some more custom harvest work whenever the snow melts."

Further north into Canada, there's even more corn still in the field, adds Marketing Talk senior contributor in Ontario, Canuck_2.

"Lots of estimates of 50% to 60% still out in Ontario. Late planting because of wet spring has left much corn high in moisture then wet fall harvest so the delay which has resulted in a lot of unharvested corn and some soys too," he says. Adds Marketing Talk senior contributor farmer46: "With no corn at under 30%, I have not started yet in northeast Wisconsin."

Moving forward, any remaining corn and soybeans in the field see their best chance of seeing the combine late this week and into next week, forecasters say. David Tolleris of WXrisk.com says delays on the northern and southern bookends of the Corn Belt could see those last few acres slow to come out of the field, but those prospects should improve as conditions do moving forward.

"This weekend, a snowfall of 1 to 3 inches went through the northern Corn Belt. Rain fell across the southern plains and the Delta. This will slow down the last of the corn harvest in the Great Lakes area, and the last of the soybean harvest in the Delta," Tolleris says. "The middle of this coming week, another round of snow --1 to 4 inches -- moves through the central Corn Belt. Then the 6- to 10-day and 11-to 15-day forecast keeps it dry in the central and northern Corn Belt and wet in the Delta."

Adds MDA Weather Services senior ag meteorologist Kyle Tapley: "Warmer weather and rainfall over the weekend melted much of the snow cover across the Midwest, but rain is changing to snow across the western Midwest this morning and additional light snow is expected on Wednesday across Iowa and Illinois. The snow across the north and west central Midwest will stall any remaining corn and soybean harvesting. The forecast has trended much warmer across the Midwest in the 6-10 day period, which should lead to melting of any snow cover that remains in place at that time."

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