Market News & Headlines >> U.S. Soybean Harvest Pace Lags

The pace of the U.S. soybean harvest slipped behind the five-year average last week as wet conditions limited activity in the western Midwest, but U.S. corn harvest progress remained ahead of normal, according to USDA’s weekly crop update. 

USDA on Tuesday afternoon pegged soybean harvest progress at 32% as of Sunday, up 9 percentage points from a week earlier, but behind the five-year average pace of 36% and last year’s pace of 34%. Harvest progress was also 3 points below the average of trade expectations in a Reuters News Service survey. 

The Illinois soybean harvest passed the halfway point last week, reaching 51% complete, ahead of the five-year average pace of 39%, but Iowa's harvest advanced just 3 percentage points to 18% complete, well short of the average pace of 31%. Minnesota's harvest was 37% complete, up 10 points on the week, but behind the average of 45%, while Nebraska progress at 36% was up 9 points on the week and was 3 points ahead of average. 

The U.S. soybean crop rating was unchanged at 68% good/excellent, 7 points above a year earlier, but crop conditions did show deterioration in Iowa as a result of excessive rainfall and flooding. Iowa soybean conditions were rated 70% good/excellent and 9% poor/very poor, versus 74% good/excellent and 7% poor/very poor a week earlier. 

USDA estimated the U.S. corn harvest was 34% complete as of Sunday, up from 26% a week earlier, 21% a year earlier and the five-year average of 26%. The estimate was on par with the average of trade expectations. USDA said 93% of the U.S. crop was mature, 10 points ahead of the 5-year average.  U.S. corn conditions were rated 68% good/excellent, down 1 point from a week earlier, but 4 points above a year earlier. 

The Illinois corn harvest reached 63% complete, up from 48% last week and far ahead of the five-year pace of 41%. In contrast, Iowa’s corn harvest advanced just 4 percentage points last week to 15% complete, although that was still 2 points ahead of average. The Minnesota harvest was also 15% complete, 5 points ahead of average, while the Nebraska harvest, at 23% complete, was 6 points ahead of average.