Crop maturity continues to lag as much as three weeks behind normal, but the U.S. corn harvest is slowly picking up steam and was 5% done at the end of last week according to USDA’s weekly crop update.

At 5% complete, corn harvest progress trailed well behind the year-earlier pace of 20% complete and the five-year average of 14%. USDA did not provide an estimate of national soybean harvest progress.

Corn harvest is well behind in southern areas of the Corn Belt with Missouri’s harvest only 9% complete against a five-year average of 47% and the Kansas crop only 11% harvested against an average of 35%.

Little harvesting has been done so far in the main U.S. Corn Belt. The Indiana harvest was pegged at 3% done against a five-year average of 10%, while the Illinois harvest was only 1% done against an average of 19%. No corn harvest was reported in Iowa against a norm of 4%.

Only 33% of the U.S. corn crop had reached maturity as of Sunday against a five-year average of 63%. In the northernmost states of the Corn Belt, less than 20% of the crop had reached maturity with the Minnesota crop only 18% mature, the Wisconsin crop 14% mature and the North Dakota crop 15% mature.

U.S. corn conditions were rated 59% good/excellent, down from 61% a week earlier. The decline was expected due to the increasing maturity of the crop.

U.S. soybean conditions were rated 57% good/excellent, unchanged from a week earlier and 1 percentage point below a year earlier.

USDA reported that 44% of U.S. soybeans were dropping leaves as of Sunday, down from the five-year average of 64% and last year’s pace of 70%.

The Illinois soybean crop is especially behind on maturity with only 24% said to be dropping leaves against a five-year average of 64% and in Missouri, only 13% of the soybean crop was dropping leaves against an average of 43%.

The soybean condition rating for the top-producing state of Iowa slipped to 58% good/excellent from 60% a week earlier, while the rating in the No.-2-producing state of Illinois held steady at 63%.

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.