Illinois soybeans flowed into local elevators at a rapid pace this past week with yields in many areas better than expected at 50 to 70 bushels per acre, grain dealers said.
Corn harvest was somewhat slower as later maturing varieties needed to dry down, but what has been done yielded 160 to 200 bushels, they said.
"Great yields and they are coming fast," an Illinois dealer said of the soybeans. "Most are making 60 to 70 bushels, which is about 10 to 15 better than they expected."
In Iowa, harvest was a little slower, but 50 bushel soybeans have been common in the early rounds.
Corn harvest in Iowa has been erratic, with farmers switching back and forth from soybeans.
Variances in grain moisture from one corn field to the next prompted the switching, Iowa dealers said. However, once the forecasted hot, dry weather arrives later this week, the dealers said corn harvest should become consistent.
USDA said the U.S. corn harvest advanced 9 points in a week to 27% done as of Sunday, and the soybean harvest doubled to 42%. The corn harvest pace matched the Farm Futures' forecast, while soybeans were a little better than our 40%.
Iowa's corn harvest was at 13%, ahead last year's 5% but behind the 24% average, and soybeans reached 32%. Illinois corn was 50% harvested and soybeans were 49% cut, compared with the averages of 24% and 35%.
Corn's condition stayed at 68% good to excellent, with slight improvements seen in Illinois, while Iowa and Indiana were unchanged. Soybeans improved 2 points to 64% helped by a 5-point rise in the Illinois crop and 1-point increase in Indiana. Iowa was unchanged.
Farmers are storing much of the corn but bringing soybeans to commercial elevators on delayed price contracts, which allow them to be shipped out.
A 100-car train of Illinois soybeans was being loaded this week for Gulf export points while a train of corn was headed to Southeast poultry and ethanol markets. In Iowa, corn was going by rail to North and South Carolina swine and chicken producers.
Gulf bids for soybeans softened a little the past few days, but Iowa and Illinois dealers said those bids remain competitive with processors as there is strong demand in export markets.
USDA's weekly export inspections on Monday showed 41.3 million bushels of soybeans were exported last week, nearly double what the trade expected and more than double the previous week's business. More than half of those soybeans went to China.
"We are loading everything we can," said an Iowa river shipper of the soybeans.
Corn export inspections of 18.5 million bushels were down 42% from the prior week and below trade forecasts. Mexico, Japan and Colombia were the leading destinations.