Growers made good progress last week thanks to mostly open conditions, according to the USDA crop progress and condition report released Monday.
The percentage of the U.S. soybean crop now cut rose 17% to 70%. While that was 6% behind average, enough of the crop is in that USDA continued its weekly ratings.
Though only Southern states in the 18 major soybean states included in the USDA count are ahead of normal, most in Midwest made big strides toward finishing. Iowa advanced from 61% harvested last week to 81%, while Illinois went from 37% to 63%.
Growers also picked up the pace of corn harvest, with the nationwide percentage rising from 31% to 46%. That remains 19% behind the five-year average. States in the northern tier are the furthest behind, with Wisconsin, Michigan and North Dakota all less than 25% complete. The big state of Iowa was also way behind, with only 36% of the crop in as of Sunday, compared to 65% on average.
Corn conditions were steady nationwide for the fourth straight week, keeping 74% of the crop rated good to excellent. Our state-by-state model showed a small improvement again this week, suggesting yields could be higher when USDA conducts its next survey for the Nov. 10 production, supply and demand report.
Monday’s report also included the first ratings of winter wheat. With 84% of the crop planted and 67% emerged, USDA said 59% of the nation’s fields were in good to excellent condition. While that translates into a potential yield of 47.9 bpa nationwide, these early ratings often don’t hold through the long growing season. Last year, for example, this first report said 61% of the fields were good to excellent, suggesting yields topping 51 bpa nationwide. By harvest, the yield projection was down below 43 bpa.