USDA Weekly Crop Progress - Soybean Harvest Picks Up Speed; Corn Harvest Falls Further Behind Normal

OMAHA (DTN) -- The U.S. soybean harvest picked up speed while the corn harvest continued to fall further behind the average pace for the week ended Oct. 22, according to USDA's latest Crop Progress report released on Monday.

USDA estimated that 38% of corn was harvested as of Sunday, 21 percentage points behind 59% last year and also a five-year average of 59% harvested. In last Monday's report, the corn harvest was 19 points behind the average pace.

Sixty-six percent of the corn crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition, resulting in a DTN Corn Condition Index of 157, up 2 points from the previous week. DTN's index is down from 175 a year ago and is still lower than the previous three years.

"Monday's slow harvest progress was neutral to bullish for corn prices," said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman.

While corn harvest continued to move slowly, the soybean harvest gained momentum last week, jumping 21 percentage points from the previous week and coming to within 3 percentage points of the average pace. That was an improvement from last Monday's report when soybean harvest lagged the average pace by 11 points. USDA estimated that 70% of the soybean crop was harvested as of Sunday, down from 74% a year ago and down from a five-year average of 73% harvested. USDA has stopped reporting national soybean crop conditions for the year.

"Monday's report was neutral for soybeans," Hultman said.

Meanwhile, USDA said 75% of winter wheat was planted as of Sunday, down from 78% a year ago and below the five-year average of 80% planted. Fifty-two percent of winter wheat was emerged, down from 58% a year ago and down from a five-year average of 57%.

"Monday's report of wheat progress was neutral for winter wheat prices," Hultman said.

Sorghum was 47% harvested, behind the five-year average of 59%.

Cotton was 87% in the bolls opening stage and the crop was 37% harvested nationwide, slightly ahead of the average pace of 35% harvested.

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