As the spring wheat harvest raced to an early conclusion, the fall crop harvest expanded and hard winter wheat producers began to seed the 2013 crop. The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its weekly Crop Progress report indicated the spring wheat harvest was 95% completed by Sept. 2 compared with 72% as the recent five-year average for the date. Wheat combining was ongoing only in Montana, Idaho and Washington.

Wheat producers across the hard winter wheat belt prepared to plant their 2013 crop. South Dakota hard winter wheat planting was 2% completed by Sept. 2 compared with 6% as the average progress for the date, and Nebraska growers have seeded 1% of their wheat cropland compared with 6% as the average. Some Texas growers were expected to begin planting any day. Growers across the Southwest were expected to “dust in” their wheat despite the drought, hoping for autumn rain and assured crop insurance would help them in the event the crop fails to fare well.

Meanwhile, the pace of the corn harvest quickened. The U.S.D.A. indicated 10% of the nation’s corn crop was harvested by Sept. 2 compared with 3% as the average for the date. Thirty-three per cent of the Kansas corn harvest was completed compared with 7% as the average for the date, and the Missouri harvest was 44% completed compared with 8% as the average. Harvesting was 12% completed in Illinois and 5% completed in Iowa. Combines were expected to make quick progress in harvesting corn from sun-baked fields. The market waited anxiously for the release on Sept. 12 of the U.S.D.A.’s Crop Production report, which will provide a fresh assessment of prospective yields in the midst of the greatest American drought in 50 years.

The soybean harvest was under way in a few key states. Harvesting was 30% completed in Louisiana on Sept. 2, 16% in Arkansas, 17% in Mississippi, 1% in Indiana and 1% in North Dakota. As in the case of corn, the market was on edge awaiting the U.S.D.A.’s September assessment of prospective average soybean yield.