Market News & Headlines >> Harvest Pace Slowest in a Decade

The U.S. corn and soybean harvests continued to advance at the slowest pace in 10 years last week as wet conditions limited fieldwork in the eastern Midwest. 

USDA’s weekly Crop Progress report showed the U.S. corn harvest was 52% complete as of Sunday, up from 41% a week earlier, but well behind the five-year average of 75%, and two percentage points below the average of trade estimates in a Reuters News Service survey. The harvest pace was the slowest since 2009, when just 28% of the crop had been collected at the same point.

USDA pegged the U.S. soybean harvest at 75% complete, up from 62% a week earlier and on par with the average of trade estimates, but still down from the five-year average of 87%. The harvest pace was the slowest since 2009, when producers had harvested 58% of their crop as of Nov. 3. 

Looking at top producing states, the Illinois harvest advanced 10 points to 66% complete; Iowa's harvest advanced 17 points to 43% complete; while Minnesota harvest progress jumped 22 points to 44% complete, and Nebraska's harvest advanced 16 points to 60% complete. USDA rated U.S. corn conditions 58% good/excellent, unchanged from a week earlier. 

Corn harvest is moving extremely slowly in the northern Corn Belt. The North Dakota corn harvest continues to inch along, with only 10% of the state's crop out of the field versus a five-year average of 60%. South Dakota's harvest progress of 27% was 39 points below the five-year average. Michigan's harvest was also only 27% complete, while Wisconsin's was just 21% complete. 

Illinois soybean harvest progress advanced only 8 percentage points to 77%; while Iowa's harvest advanced 14 points to 80% complete; Minnesota harvest progress rose 18 points to 80% complete, and Nebraska's harvest reached 94% complete.