US feed crop harvests start as corn, soybean quality stays high

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Crop, Harvest, Wheat

© iStock/stgutiez
© iStock/stgutiez
Despite regional weather challenges, harvest has started for some US feed crops and overall quality remains high, says the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

However, the USDA's crop progress report shows the pace of harvest for corn and soybeans is below average.

Feed crop producers across the US have faced some variable conditions, with flooding in areas such as Louisiana and other states, seeing dryer weather.

Corn growers in Ohio, and parts of Indiana and Michigan had a dry turn in July that may influence yield, said Mathew Roberts, associate professor in the department of agricultural, environmental and development economics at Ohio State University in an earlier interview.  

“We’re not anywhere near record [in Ohio],”​ he said. “It’s the dryness from mid-July on.”

However, the weather has not been so negative for the soybean crop he said. “Soybeans have done very, very well – we’re on pace for record yield in soybeans, 53 bushels an acre, they responded well to the weather,”​ he added.

The hope at this point is for cool, dry weather to continue and help dry down the corn, he said.

Corn considerations

For the 18 states responsible for the majority of the US corn crop, the amount reaching the dented stage is 93%, up slightly from last year which was at 92% for the week ending September 18, said the USDA. However, the amount of the crop that has reached maturity is at 53%, up from both last year and the multi-year average of 48%.

Some states have seen harvest start, with about 9% of this year’s corn crop reaching that stage, said the department. The schedule is in keeping with last year, which was also at 9% harvested, and behind the multi-year average of 12%.

Only North Carolina has seen more than half of its crop harvested at 82%, said the department. States with the most corn harvested include Kansas at 17%, Kentucky at 41%, Tennessee at 61%, and Texas at 63%.

States that are lagging behind last year’s production schedule include Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and Pennsylvania, the department said. Those trailing their multi-year average include Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Corn crop condition remains at 74% good or excellent, the department said. Last year’s crop was at 68% good or excellent at this point in the year.

Soybeans statistics 

The amount of soybeans dropping leaves in the 18 states responsible for the majority of the crop production is at 46%, an improvement on the multi-year average of 43% and behind last year, which had reached 50% by this time in the season, said the USDA. At 4% complete, harvest of the feed crop is lagging behind both last year’s 6% and the average of 5% often reached by this point.

States that are farthest along include Arkansas at 21%, Louisiana at 44% and Mississippi at 34% complete, the department said. States that have not started their harvest include Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan and Wisconsin.  

Soybean crop condition dropped slightly for amount of the crop considered good – from 55% to 54% – but improved for the amount found to be excellent – from 18% to 19%, the department said. The overall amount considered good or excellent, 73%, is an improvement from last year’s 63% rating at this point in the season.

Other feed crops

The majority, about 98%, of the spring wheat crop has been harvested, said the USDA. Idaho, Montana and North Dakota still have crop to bring in. And about 17% of the winter wheat crop has been planted.

About 11% of the sugar beet harvest has been completed, ahead of the average 8%, but behind last year’s 13% for this point in the year, said the USDA.

Additionally, about 51% of the sorghum crop has reached maturity in the 11 states responsible for the majority of its production, the department said. The amount is ahead of last year’s 49% and the average 44%.

Thus far, 29% of the crop has been harvested, on par with the average, but behind last year’s pace, the department said. At 99% and 97%, respectively, Louisiana and Arkansas have the most of their crop harvested for states growing sorghum.

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