Cooler, wetter weather finally broke the Corn Belt’s late-season heat and dryness, and with corn harvest picking up speed across the region, conditions are slowly improving, according to the USDA’s latest “Crop Progress” report.
"Harvest results for corn are coming in much better than expected," Rich Nelson, an analyst with Allendale Inc. in McHenry, Ill., told Reuters.
Currently 7 percent of the country’s corn has been harvested, nearly double last week’s report. Just two states – Minnesota and Wisconsin – have yet to report any harvested corn. Overall, corn harvest in the northern half of the Corn Belt is still significantly behind the five-year average.
North Carolina reported the biggest jump in harvest corn this week, jumping from 53 percent to 74 percent this week. This is above the state’s five-year average and on-par with last year’s report.
Conditions are finally showing signs of improving. After weeks of declining, 55 percent of corn is in good to excellent condition, up from 53 percent last week. In Colorado, the percentage of corn in poor to very poor condition was nearly halved, dropping from 40 percent to 25 percent this week.
All but one state – South Dakota – saw corn conditions remain the same or improve over the last week.
Soybean progress is also kicking up the pace. Three percent of the country’s soybeans have been harvested, which is one-third of the five-year average.
Soybean conditions, like those of corn, also improved this week. Currently 17 percent of soybeans are in poor to very poor condition, down from 18 percent last week.