US feed crop harvest sees end nearing

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock/oticki
© iStock/oticki

Related tags Harvest

Despite some recent setbacks from weather slowing harvest times, the US feed crop harvest is nearing completion.

The crop progress report released Monday from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) totals the corn harvest at about 75% complete and the soybean harvest at 87% complete, as of the week ending October 30.

Although feed crop harvests have yet to reach the pace set last year, they are starting to meet, if not exceed average collection by this point as they near completion, said the USDA.

Wet weather meant that feed corn and soybean harvests in some parts of the US did not happen as quickly as past years, said David Bau, extension educator with the University of Minnesota, who told us that pattern was playing out in Minnesota.

Some farmers were reporting corn moisture levels of 16-17% or even 20%, he told us last week. “It’s getting dryer, but they’re not tearing into it,”​ he added.

“Soybeans never really dried down [they] came in just under 13% or 14%,” ​he said. “If we had a good growing season they dry down to 9%.”

Additionally, the damp led to challenges with harvest equipment leaving ruts in fields or having to avoid spots with standing water, said Bau. However, there were not concerns regarding yield loss, or potential crop damage from extra time in the field.

“Quality has been good [and] test weights are good on corn and beans,” ​he said. “It’s been a good quality year.”

Corn harvest pace

Last year the corn harvest was about 82% complete by this point, said USDA. This year it has reached 75%, which is in keeping with the multi-year average.

States that are meeting or ahead of their average completion include Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. However, states still trailing where they are on average by this point in the year are Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

There also are several states that are nearing the end of their harvest and have reached or passed 90% completion, the department said. These include Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.  

Soy nears completion

Similarly, the soybean harvest has surpassed its average pace toward completion, said the USDA. It has reached 87% complete for the states responsible for the majority of the soybean crop, up from an average of 85%, if still behind last year’s 91% by this point in the year.

States that lag behind the average in harvest completion include Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota, said the department. A few, however, have met or surpassed both their average time and the pace set last year, these are Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Of the 18 states tracked for soybean production, seven states also are nearing harvest completion, said the department. They have reached or exceeded 90% of the crop being collected.

Other feed crops

The overall harvest for sugarbeets in the US has reached 86% complete, slightly behind the average 87% done by this point and last year’s 90%, said the USDA. However, of the four states primarily involved in production North Dakota has 99% of its crop in and Minnesota has 95% finished.

The sorghum crop has almost reached maturity, said the department. About 96% of the crop is considered mature – a slight improvement on the average of 95% by this point in the year.

Additionally, about 76% of the crop has been collected, said the department. Last year 77% had been harvested by this time, but the average is 68%.

At 86% complete, the majority of the winter wheat crop has been planted, said the USDA. The pace is running slightly behind both last year and the multi-year average, but the amount that has emerged this year is ahead of both.

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