Corn, soybean harvest behind average pace

by Ron Sterk
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KANSAS CITY — Both corn and soybean harvests were behind the five-year average pace as of Sept. 21, while spring wheat harvest moved closer to completion and winter wheat planting was slightly ahead of average, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its Sept. 22 Crop Progress report.

Corn was 7% harvested in the 18 major states, even with a year ago but behind 15% as the 2009-13 average for the date, the U.S.D.A. said. The trade had expected the harvest to be 12% to 15% completed.

Harvest had not begun as of Sept. 21 in 7 of the 18 states, including top-producing Iowa. No. 2 Illinois was at 6% compared with 23% as the average. Of the states where harvest was under way, only Texas was ahead of average at 67% compared with 65%.

The corn crop was 42% mature, ahead of 37% last year but behind 54% as the five-year average. The crop was rated 74% good to excellent, unchanged from a week earlier but well above 55% a year ago.

The soybean crop in the 18 major states was 3% harvested as of Sept. 21, even with the same date last year but behind 8% as the five-year average. The trade had expected soybean harvest to be 4% to 6% completed as of Sunday.

Forty-five per cent of the crop was dropping leaves compared with 53% as the average. The crop was rated 71% good to excellent, down slightly from 72% a week earlier but well above 50% a year ago.

Spring wheat was 86% harvested as of Sept. 21, behind 93% a year ago and 92% as the five-year average. Harvest was completed in Idaho and Washington, with North Dakota at 82% (91% average), South Dakota at 97% (100%), Minnesota at 91% (97%) and Montana at 81% (85%). Harvest has been hampered with wet weather, which also has created spring wheat quality concerns in some areas.

Winter wheat in the 18 major states was 25% seeded as of Sept. 21, ahead of 21% a year ago and 22% as the 2009-13 average for the date. The crop was 15% planted in top-producing Kansas, ahead of 12% last year and 13% as the average. Improved soil moisture profiles have made winter wheat planting conditions the best in several years.
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