Slow harvest prompts continued USDA scrutiny of feed crops

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/mvburling
© GettyImages/mvburling

Related tags: Usda, feed crop production, weather

Weather delays mean corn and soybean crops linger in fields in parts of the US and the slow harvest is altering US Department of Agriculture practices.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) released new details​ of US feed crop production and development on Monday [November 25]. Neither the corn or soybean crops have been completely collected by this point.

The slow pace of progress has the department is extending its coverage, according to the USDA.

“Today’s report was originally scheduled to be the last Crop Progress report of the 2019 season,”​ the USDA said. “However, due to delays in harvest progress, the weekly National Crop Progress report will be extended.”

“National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will evaluate harvest progress for all crops each week to determine how long to continue the report,”​ the department added.

Corn progress

Last year, by the week ending November 24, about 93% of the corn crop had been harvested, and on average, about 96% of the crop has been collected, the USDA said. This year 84% has been gathered

Of the 18 states responsible for the majority of the corn crop, two have finished their harvest – North Carolina and Tennessee, the department said. Kentucky is the only state to be ahead of the average pace and the collection rate set last year.

Michigan and Wisconsin have harvested slightly more than half of the anticipated crop and South Dakota has collected about 68%, the department said. However, North Dakota is the furthest from completion with 30% of its crop out of the field.

Last year Michigan, North Dakota and Wisconsin had 4, 4.1 and 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork, respectively, during the week ending November 24, the USDA said. This year, for that week, they had 3.7, 4 and 4.2, respectively.

Soybean and sorghum developments

Soybean producers have had a slightly faster time getting the crop out of feeds than corn producers, said the USDA. About 94% of the crop has been collected, which is in keeping with harvest last year but remains behind the multiyear average.

Two of 18 states responsible for the feed crop’s production have finished their harvests – Louisiana and Nebraska, the department said.

The majority of states report nearing the end of the crop’s harvest, with most having gathered more than 85%, the department said. Michigan and Wisconsin have seen a lag to production, and North Carolina remains the furthest from completion with 67% of its crop collected.

Sorghum producers have had a faster harvest than in previous years and about 97% of the crop has been collected, the USDA said. Last year at this point 88% was in and on average 92% has been gathered.

Only one state – Texas – has completed its harvest, but the majority of sorghum producing states have collected about 90% of the crop so far, the department said. South Dakota is the furthest from completion with 83% of its crop gathered.

Wheat planting and condition

Planting for the upcoming winter wheat crop has finished, the USDA said. The emergence of the crop is outpacing last year but remains behind the multiyear average.

Across the 18 states responsible for the majority of the winter wheat crop, about 87% has sprouted and three states – Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota – have reported full emergence for their crops, the department said.

The other 15 states report a range of crop development with California showing 40% of its crop above ground, North Carolina at 60% and Idaho at 98%, the department said.

Overall, the condition of the sprouted crop is slightly below last year at this time, the USDA said. Last year 55% of the crop earned “good” ​or “excellent”​ ratings and this year 52% of the crop has those scores.

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