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USDA crop progress: Soybean harvest nears the halfway mark

Getty/iStockphoto green combine dumping corn into wagon
Four out of 10 corn acres have been harvested this fall.

USDA’s latest crop progress report, out Tuesday afternoon (a day later than normal, due to office closures on Columbus Day) and covering the week through Oct. 10, showed harvest pace picking up for both corn and soybeans. Both crops also saw quality ratings improve a point from the prior week.

Corn harvest moved from 29% a week ago up to 41% through Sunday. That’s a bit above 2020’s pace of 39% and well above the prior five-year average of 31%. USDA reports 94% of the crop is now fully mature, up from 88% a week ago and trending eight points above the prior five-year average of 86%.

Quality ratings improved by a point, with 60% of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition. Analysts though USDA would hold ratings steady. Another 25% is rated fair (down a point from last week), with the remaining 15% rated poor or very poor (unchanged from a week ago).

The 2021 soybean harvest neared the halfway mark, with 49% complete through Sunday. That is well behind 2020’s pace of 58% but still nine points ahead of the prior five-year average of 40%. Ninety-one percent of the crop is dropping leaves, versus 86% a week ago and slightly ahead of the prior five-year average of 89%.

Soybean quality ratings also improved a point last week, with 59% of the crop now in good-to-excellent condition. As with corn, analysts had expected ratings to hold steady this past week. Another 27% is rated fair (down a point from last week), with the remaining 14% rated poor or very poor (unchanged from a week ago).

Winter wheat plantings kept pushing forward last week, with 60% completion through Oct. 10. That’s up from 47% a week earlier and mirrors the prior five-year average, although it was one point behind the average trade guess of 61%. And 31% of the crop is emerged, which is up from the prior week’s mark of 19% but four points behind the prior five-year average of 35%.

Click here to read the latest USDA crop progress report for additional information on cotton, sorghum, sugarbeets and more.

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