The U.S. corn harvest remained ahead of schedule next week even though cooler, wetter weather limited harvest progress in the western Corn Belt and some producers switched to cutting soybeans.
USDA pegged U.S. corn harvest progress at 18% as of Sunday, up from 11% a week earlier and the five-year average of 10%. An estimated 69% of the U.S. crop was said to be mature, well above the year-ago figure of 20% and the average of 48%.
U.S. corn conditions held steady with a week earlier at 68% good/excellent, which was also unchanged from a year earlier.
In its first estimate of 2010 soybean harvest progress, USDA said 8% of the soybean crop had been cut by Sunday compared with 4% a year ago and the five-year average of 6%.
USDA estimated that 60% of the U.S. soybean crop was dropping leaves compared with only 36% a year earlier and the average of 52%.
Nationwide soybean conditions held steady at 63% good/excellent compared with 67% a year earlier.
Corn harvest progress pushed well ahead of normal in Illinois and Indiana where dry conditions favored fieldwork. Illinois producers harvested one-fifth of their corn crop last week, and had already combined 38% of the crop by Sunday compared with only 1% a year earlier and a five-year average of 12%.
Harvest moved much more slowly in the top corn-growing state of Iowa, advancing 3 percentage points on the week to 6% done against an average pace of 2%.
Soybean harvest is off to a very fast start in Indiana with 20% of the crop already having been cut as of Sunday against a five-year average of only 3%.
Harvest progress in the top-growing state of Iowa was on par with the five-year average at 4%, while producers in No. 2 Illinois had harvested 10% of their crop vs. an average pace of 5%.
Editor’s note: Richard Brock, Corn & Soybean Digest's marketing editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.