WASHINGTON — Even though crop development was slightly ahead of average, corn and soybean harvests, both in their early stages in key Corn Belt states, slightly lagged five-year averages, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its latest weekly Crop Progress report.
Crop analysts indicated wet conditions had slowed the harvest pace this year. Both corn and soybeans crops are forecast to be record large in 2016.
Corn harvest in the 18 major states was 9% completed as of Sept. 18, up from 5% a week earlier, even with a year ago but behind 12% as the 2011-15 average for the date, the U.S.D.A. said. Corn was 2% harvested in top-producing Iowa compared with 7% as the average. The crop in the 18 states was 53% mature, modestly ahead of 48% both last year and as the five-year average. Condition ratings were unchanged from a week earlier at 74% good to excellent compared with 68% at the same time last year.
Soybeans in the 18 major states were 4% harvested as of Sept. 18, behind 6% a year ago and 5% as the 2011-15 average, the U.S.D.A. said. Harvest had not yet begun in the two largest producing states of Iowa (3% average harvested for the date) and Illinois (2% average). Forty-six per cent of the crop was dropping leaves in the 18 states compared with 43% as the five-year average. The crop was rated 73% good to excellent, unchanged from a week earlier and compared with 63% a year ago.
Spring wheat in the six major producing states was 98% harvested as of Sept. 18, ahead of 93% as the average pace.
Winter wheat in the top 18 states was 17% planted, slightly ahead of 16% both a year ago and as the five-year average.