Crop conditions fell slightly, corn harvest has begun

Harvest is progressing more quickly than average this year. With six percent of acres already complete nationally, many states are progressing well ahead of schedule, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture report. Corn condition overall remains stable as the growing season nears an end, hitting 52 percent poor to very poor, up one percentage point from last week.

Soybean conditions also worsened by 1 percentage point, to 38 percent poor to very poor. Beans dropping leaves reached 8 percent.

“Farmers have faced many difficulties this year, with a long, intense drought impacting much of the Corn Belt in 2012,” said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer.  “After an early planting season and optimism surrounding the large numbers of acres planted, much of the Midwest saw corn that failed to reach its full potential due to unfavorable weather during critical periods. Despite these setbacks, farmers across the country are drawing upon their inner reserves, resiliently working to make this harvest as abundant as possible for our nation.  As their work continues, it is important to remember the dedication that these hard-working farm families demonstrate and, in return, show that the country supports them.”

Winter wheat harvest is mostly complete, with USDA done reporting progress for the year. Spring wheat harvest is 89 percent complete, compared to a 57 percent five-year average. Minnesota and South Dakota have finished wheat harvest, while North Dakota sits at 96 percent and is expected to wrap things up this week.

Missouri, Tennessee, Kansas and Kentucky have all begun harvesting corn much earlier than normal, with each state a full 20 or more points ahead of the five-year trend for percentage of acres harvested by this time.  With a full 32 percent of acres harvest, Missouri has harvested at the most accelerated rate.  In Missouri, harvest usually begins around August 29 and enters the most active stage in the second week of September.  The progress achieved by August 26 indicates farmers are a full 29 points ahead of the five-year trend.

Likewise, Kansas and Kentucky have both achieved notably early progress.  Both more than 20 points over trend, harvest does not normally commence in either state until after September 1.  While Tennessee farmers normally begin corn harvest on August 25, reports indicate 33 percent of that states corn acres had already been harvested on August 26 this year.