The warm and dry weather much of the Corn Belt experienced last week helped growers pick up the pace on the harvest that has been delayed for most of the fall. As soybean harvest comes to a close, all eyes are turning to the still-behind-schedule corn harvest.
The USDA crop progress report released on Monday showed the nationwide corn harvest percentage rising from 31 percent to 46 percent. Though a big increase, it remains 19 percent behind the five-year average. Northern Midwest states are the furthest behind, with Wisconsin, Michigan and North Dakota all less than 25 percent complete.
Soybean harvest was reported at 70 percent, a 17 percent increase from last week, but 6 percent behind the five-year average. Minnesota and Nebraska have the most harvested at 94 percent and 87 percent, respectively.
Monday’s report also included the first ratings of winter wheat. With 84 percent of the crop planted and 67 percent emerged, USDA said 59 percent of the nation’s fields were in good to excellent condition.
Corn conditions were steady nationwide for the fourth straight week, keeping 74 percent of the crop rated good to excellent. The amount considered fair also remained steady at 19 percent, while only 7 percent was considered poor or very poor. Illinois had the most corn rated excellent at 35 percent.