Corn and soybean harvests take a step closer to the finish line.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

November 1, 2021

2 Min Read
Combine harvesting corn

USDA’s latest crop progress report, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through Oct. 31, confirmed what many analysts had already suspected – ample rains across the central U.S. this past week slowed down harvest considerably in some areas. Corn’s harvest pace is still well ahead of the prior five-year average, while soybeans slowed down enough to fall behind the prior five-year average.

The 2021 corn harvest reached 74% completion through Sunday, which was up from 66% a week ago and a point below the average trade guess of 75%. Fieldwork is still running roughly a week ahead of the prior five-year average, which is 66%.

The 2021 soybean harvest only moved from 73% completion a week ago up to 79% through Sunday. Analysts were expecting to see that number reach 81%. That puts this year’s efforts well short of 2020’s pace of 86% and two points behind the prior five-year average of 81%.

Other row crop harvests around the country continue to see some forward momentum, including:

  • Cotton at 45% (up from 35% a week ago)

  • Sorghum at 80% (up from 71% a week ago)

  • Peanuts at 67% (up from 51% a week ago)

  • Sugarbeets at 87% (up from 64% a week ago)

  • Sunflowers at 53% (up from 40% a week ago)

Winter wheat plantings, meantime, moved from 80% completion a week ago up to 87% through Sunday. That’s down slightly from 2020’s pace of 88% but just ahead of the prior five-year average of 86%. And 67% of the crop is now emerged, up from 55% last week.

Quality ratings faced a one-point drop, with 45% rated in good-to-excellent condition through Oct. 31. Analysts were expecting to see a two-point gain, in contrast. Another 34% of the crop is rated fair (steady from a week ago), with the remaining 21% rated poor or very poor (up a point from last week).

Click here to read today’s USDA crop progress report for more information on the aforementioned crops, along with a look at the latest pasture and range conditions.

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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