Market News & Headlines >> Corn Harvest Pace Picks Up A Bit

U.S. corn harvest progress accelerated moderately last week, but remained well behind the normal pace, as many producers continued to concentrate on getting soybeans out of the field and the corn crop continued to mature slowly. 

Monday afternoon’s weekly Crop Progress report from USDA showed the U.S. corn harvest was 41% complete as of Sunday, up from 30% a week earlier, but 20 percentage points behind the five-year average pace of 61% and 2 points below the average of trade estimates in a Reuters News Service survey. The harvest pace was the slowest reported for the date since 2009, when only 21% of the crop had been harvested by Oct. 27. 

USDA pegged soybean harvest at 62% complete, up from 46% a week earlier and in line with the average of trade expectations, but behind last year’s pace of 69% and the five-year average of 78%. The soybean harvest pace was also the slowest reported for late October since 2009, when only 44% of the crop had been harvested by Oct. 27. 

Looking at top producing states, the Illinois corn harvest advanced 18 percentage points on the week to 54% complete versus a five-year average of 80%, while Iowa's harvest advanced 11 points to 26% complete versus an average pace of 53%. The Minnesota harvest also advanced 11 points to just 22% complete versus an average of 56%. Nebraska's harvest reached 44% complete, up from 30% a week earlier, but still behind the average pace of 50%, while Indiana’s harvest advanced 12 points to 48% complete versus an average of 66%. 

Surprisingly, USDA pegged the portion of the U.S. corn crop in good/excellent condition at 58%, up 2 percentage points from a week earlier, with the good/excellent rating for the Illinois crop jumping 9 percentage points to 55%. USDA did not issue a further condition rating for the soybean crop, with 97% of that crop already said to be dropping leaves. 

The Illinois soybean harvest advanced 17 percentage points to 69% complete versus a  five-year average. of 82%, while the Iowa harvest advanced 18 points to 66% complete versus an average of 80% and the Minnesota harvest advanced 20 points to 62% complete versus an average of 93%. The Nebraska harvest advanced 25 points to 85% complete versus an average of 84%. 

North Dakota harvest progress remained exceptionally slow following the recent snowstorm there. The state’s corn harvest was only 6% complete as of Sunday, up from 4% a week earlier and a small fraction of the average pace of 41%. The North Dakota soybean harvest was 29% complete, up 9 points on the week, but less than a third of the five-year average of 91%.