Market News & Headlines >> U.S. Harvest Off to Slow Start

The U.S. corn harvest continued to progress slowly last week as wet conditions and lagging crop maturity kept producers out of the field and not surprisingly, soybean harvest is also off to a slow start, according to USDA’s weekly crop update.

Monday afternoon’s pegged corn harvest at 7% complete, up only 3 points from a week earlier and less than half the five-year average of 15%. Progress was on par with a year earlier. USDA’s first estimate of 2014 soybean harvest progress was 3%, also on par with a year earlier, but behind the average pace of 7%.

The amount of corn reaching maturity did accelerate with 42% of the crop rated mature, up from 27% a week earlier, but that was still behind the five-year average of 54%. USDA estimated 45% of the soybean crop was dropping leaves, up from 24% a week earlier, but behind the average pace of 53%.

Corn crop maturity is lagging most in Minnesota: 19% versus an average of 41%; Iowa, 37% versus an average of 60%; and South Dakota, 22% versus an average of 44%. No corn harvest progress was reported for those three states, compared with their respective five-year averages of 5%, 9% and 7%.

Soybean maturity is also lagging well behind normal in Minnesota, with only 38% of the state’s crop dropping leaves as of Sunday versus a five-year average of 64% and none of the crop harvested compared with an average of 9%. Soybean maturity was also notably behind South Dakota and Kentucky.

Corn and soybean conditions remain abnormally strong for this late point of the growing season with the U.S. corn crop rating unchanged from a week earlier at 74% good/excellent and the good/excellent rating for the U.S. soybean crop down 1 point to 71%.