Organic Corn Harvest Remains Behind, Battles Weather Obstacles

Organic Corn Harvest Is at 40% Compared With a 69% Average.

The weather challenged U.S. farmers during 2019’s planting season, and it hasn’t let up as harvest has arrived.

Corn harvest has fallen behind, and farmers using organic corn have struggled to harvest it with around half of it still sitting in fields across the Corn Belt, according to Mercaris’ November 2019 Monthly Market Update.

The states farming with major amounts of organic corn consist of the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, all of which have battled a combination of snow, rain, and frigid temperatures this fall. 

Data from Mercaris and the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service reveals the average percent harvested for organic corn sits at 40% as of Nov. 9, compared with a 69% five-year average and a 69% rate at that point in 2018. “We are watching to see just how much progress farmers were able to make last week. With snow and cold returning, any warm stretches of weather will be crucial for this year’s harvest,” says Ryan Koory, director of economics at Mercaris, in a release.

For organic corn, North Dakota has 10% complete, South Dakota has 27% harvested, and Wisconsin checks in at 21% complete.

Extended delays in an already delayed harvest generates concern for damages to crop yields and quality in the crop.

“It’s difficult to speak with any level of certainty about production this year when half of the corn crop is still in the field,” Koory said in the report. “What can be said is this: the weather this harvest season isn’t offering much in the way of an apology for this year’s planting conditions.”

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