Corn and soybean harvest activity started to pick up last week, but continues to lag well behind normal with crops maturing slowly.

Warm temperatures helped boost crop maturity, but both corn and soybean maturity remained well behind normal.

USDA’s weekly crop update pegged corn harvest at 9% complete as of Sept. 28, up from 5% a week earlier, but behind last year’s rapid pace of 29% and five-year average of 21%.

USDA’s rating of U.S. corn conditions rose by 2 percentage points to 61% good/excellent, which, even with crop development lagging, is surprising for this time of year.

The portion of the corn crop that was mature was put at 52%, up from 33% a week earlier, but still well behind the five-year average of 79%.

Soybean harvest progress was also pegged at 9%, up from 3% a week earlier, but behind last year’s pace of 24% and an average of 21%.

The portion of the soybean crop dropping leaves was estimated at 68%, up from 44% a week earlier, but behind the five-year average of 81%.

The U.S. soybean condition rating was unchanged from a week earlier at 57% good/excellent.

Corn harvest was lagging far behind normal in the No. 2 producing state of Illinois, with only 4% of the state’s fields having been harvested against a five-year average of 32%.

Harvest progress in the top corn state of Iowa was pegged at 2% against an average of 9%.

The portion of the corn crop that has reached maturity lags 40 percentage points behind normal in both Iowa and Illinois.

The Iowa soybean harvest was pegged at 8% complete against an average of 25%, while the Illinois soybean harvest was 6% done against an average of 25%.

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.