November 23, 2017

Soybean Harvest Nearly Done, But Winter Wheat Planting Lags

There’s no illusions among producers: this year has been a slow harvest.  That fact was backed up by USDA Crop Progress numbers on Monday with both corn and soybean harvest continuing behind average pace.  It wasn’t all bad news though; as slow as harvest has been soybeans are now 83% complete on a national basis, just 1% behind average.  As for corn harvest, USDA estimated the nations producers are 54% complete; that’s 18% behind the five year average but better than the 21% delay a week earlier.

As for whose the furthest behind, there isn’t a good answer to that.  Crop mix and weather have added a lot of variability across the Midwest.  In soybeans, Iowa is the furthest behind, lagging normal by 8% with Nebraska second at 4% behind average.  When it comes to corn, nearly every one is behind.  The biggest delays are Minnesota (now 35% behind) followed by South Dakota at 31% behind and Iowa at 26% behind.  The only two states reporting slightly ahead were in the Southeast: North Carolina and Tennessee.

As for minor crops, sunflowers are the only ones remaining to harvest.  USDA is reporting them nearly average at 53% done compared to 54% on average.  North Dakota is ahead of average and last year but is the only state to do so.  South Dakota, Colorado and Kansas are all reporting delays of various sizes.

The wet conditions in the Plains and Midwest hasn’t been good news for the winter wheat crop either.  Progress has trailed average all year and while final plant dates are quickly being hit, USDA is reporting 84% of the crop is in the ground.  Soft Red areas of Illinois, Indiana and Missouri are average to slightly behind but Hard Red Winter producers Kansas and Oklahoma are struggling.  The states are 84% and 83% planted, respectively behind their 93% and 91% averages for this week.  Final Plant dates according to USDA are varied, but all except for the Southeastern corner of Kansas must but complete by November 5th to receive full insurance coverage.  Oklahoma will have until near the end of November.