Market News & Headlines >> U.S. Corn Harvest Crawls Along

The U.S. corn harvest continued to advance at the slowest pace in a decade last week as producers in the northern Corn Belt continued to struggle to get their crops out of the field. 

USDA estimated the U.S. corn harvest was 76% complete as of Sunday, up 10 percentage points from a week earlier, but one point below the average of trade expectations in a Reuters News Service survey and well below the five-year average pace of 92%. The harvest pace was the slowest since 2009, when just 58% of the crop had been collected by Nov. 17. 

In the top growing state of Iowa, corn harvest advanced 13 points last week to 77% complete, while harvest reached 80% complete in Illinois, up 9 points from a week earlier. The Minnesota harvest advanced 14 points to 77% complete, while the Nebraska harvest advanced 11 points to 85% complete and the Indiana harvest advanced 8 points to 80% complete. 

Harvest continued to move very slowly across most northern states, most notably North Dakota, where progress advanced just 8 points on the week to 23% compared with the five-year average pace of 85%. The Michigan harvest advanced just 6 points to 39% versus an average pace of 75%, while the Wisconsin harvest advanced 14 points to 44% complete versus an average of 77%.  South Dakota’s harvest advanced 14 points to 53% compared with an average pace of 91%. 

The U.S. soybean harvest is now winding down, with USDA estimating 91% of the crop had been harvested as of Sunday, up 6 points from a week earlier and on par with the average of trade expectations, but behind the five-year average pace of 95%. 

Soybean harvest progress ranged from 91% to 97% in the top five growing states of Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and Indiana. Harvest was still lagging notably in North Dakota at 84% complete versus a five-year average of 98%; in Michigan, at 76% complete versus an average of 91%; and in Wisconsin, at 77% versus an average of 95%.