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USDA crop progress: Corn harvest reaches 76%

Soybean harvest even further along, at 83% complete.

Ben Potter

November 6, 2018

2 Min Read

This year’s U.S. corn and soybean harvests move even closer to completion, according to the latest USDA Crop Progress report, out Nov. 5. The 2018/19 winter wheat planting progress is also nearly complete, according to USDA’s latest data.

For the week ending Nov. 4, corn harvest moved ahead to 76% complete, up from 63% a week ago and still ahead of 2017’s pace of 68%. The five-year average remains incrementally faster, at 77%.

“Wet weather in the central and eastern Midwest last week slowed harvest a little, with today’s progress in line with my expectations,” says Farm Futures senior grain market analyst Bryce Knorr. “Drier weather should get combines moving again after one more storm this week.”

A state-by-state look reveals that six of the top 18 production states are at least 90% complete with the 2018 corn harvest, including Illinois (93%), Kentucky (92%), Missouri (92%), North Carolina (98%), Tennessee (96%) and Texas (90%). By now, every state has passed the halfway mark but North Dakota (49%).

This year’s soybean harvest has reached 83% complete, meantime, up from 72% a week ago. Progress is still a bit behind 2017’s pace and the five-year average, both at 89%. As with corn, six of the top 18 production states are at least 90% complete, including Illinois (92%), Louisiana (95%), Minnesota (92%), Mississippi (92%), Nebraska (90%) and South Dakota (92%). North Carolina, with current progress of 45%, is the only top production state that hasn’t yet reached the halfway point.

The 2018/19 winter wheat crop is nearly planted, with progress reaching 84% last week, up from 78% the week prior. Current pace is still behind 2017 and the five-year average, both at 90%. Another 70% of the crop is now emerged.

Winter wheat quality saw mild declines, from the prior week’s tally of 53% in good-to-excellent condition down to 51%. Analysts expected crop quality to gain a point this past week. But even though the percentage of the crop rated good to excellent decreased, changes in other categories offset that decline, Knorr says.


“Development was uneven, but good moisture in the big hard red winter states of Oklahoma and Texas improved ratings, though it is keeping planting slower than normal,” he says.

Other crop progress of note includes:

  • Sugarbeet harvest reached 91%, up from 82% the week prior.

  • Sorghum harvest reached 64%, up from 53% the week prior.

  • Cotton harvest reached 49%, up from 44% the week prior.

  • Peanut harvest reached 75%, up from 66% the week prior.

About the Author(s)

Ben Potter

Senior editor, Farm Futures

Senior Editor Ben Potter brings two decades of professional agricultural communications and journalism experience to Farm Futures. He began working in the industry in the highly specific world of southern row crop production. Since that time, he has expanded his knowledge to cover a broad range of topics relevant to agriculture, including agronomy, machinery, technology, business, marketing, politics and weather. He has won several writing awards from the American Agricultural Editors Association, most recently on two features about drones and farmers who operate distilleries as a side business. Ben is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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