USDA crop progress: Corn, soybean harvests near finish line

USDA estimates corn harvest reached 90% completion; soybeans up to 96%.

A week ago, UDSA estimated 83% of the U.S. corn crop had been harvested. For the week ending Nov. 19, another 7% is complete, with 9 out of every 10 acres in the country harvested, the agency reports. Soybean harvest is even further along, at 96%, USDA reports.

Despite the forward momentum, the 2017 corn harvest is still moderately behind the pace of 2016 (96%), as well as the five-year average (95%). Wisconsin, at 69% complete, has the furthest to go, with Michigan (76%), Ohio (79%) and Pennsylvania (78%) each with at least one-fifth of the crop still unharvested.

The 2017 soybean harvest, at 96% complete, is nearly in the books. That pace is slightly behind a year ago (98%) and a tick behind the five-year average (97%). USDA has declared 7 out of the top 18 soybean producing states to be totally complete – including Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Some southern production states, including North Carolina (63%), Kentucky (78%) and Tennessee (83%) still have the furthest progress to make.

About 88% of the 2017/18 winter wheat crop has emerged, up from 84% a week ago and identical to the 2016/17 crop and the five-year average.

Crop quality retreated from a week ago, with a 52% good-to-excellent rating compared to last week’s 54% G/E rating. In total, USDA has rated the crop 8% excellent, 44% good, 37% fair, 8% poor and 3% very poor. Some states that are struggling with relatively low G/E ratings include South Dakota (19%), Montana (36%) and Texas (41%).

Despite the declining G/E ratings, the overall decline in yield potential is relatively small, according to Farm Futures senior grain market analyst Bryce Knorr.

“[The impact is] just .15 of 1 bpa overall according to our models of production based on these condition reports,” he says. “Projected yields ranged from 47 bpa to 50.3 depending on the model. Losses were noted across most of the central and southern Plains for hard red winter wheat, with yields for soft red winter wheat also slipping in the eastern Midwest.”

Sorghum harvest moved from 83% complete a week prior to 90% complete for the week ending Nov. 19. Harvest progress remains slightly slower than last year’s pace of 93% and the five-year average of 92%.

Cotton harvest advanced another 10% to 74% total. That is moderately ahead of 2016’s pace of 66%, and slightly ahead of the five-year average of 72%.

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