OMAHA (DTN) -- Though heavy rains halted fieldwork in portions of the Upper Midwest last week, nationwide, the corn and soybean harvest remained ahead of the average pace, USDA's National Ag Statistics Service said in its weekly Crop Progress report on Monday.
As of Sunday, Sept. 23, 16% of corn was harvested, 6 percentage points ahead of last year's pace of 10% and 5 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 11%. Soybeans were 14% harvested, 5 percentage points ahead of last year's 9% and 6 percentage points ahead of the average of 8%.
Both crops also continued to reach maturity at an ahead-of-normal pace. Seventy-two percent of corn was estimated as mature as of Sunday, 19 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 53%. The percentage of soybeans dropping leaves was estimated at 71%, 14 percentage points ahead of the average pace of 57%.
Nationwide, condition ratings for both corn and soybeans saw a slight improvement last week. Corn condition was rated 69% good to excellent, up 1 percentage point from 68% the previous week. Soybean condition was rated 68% good to excellent, up 1 percentage point from 67% the previous week.
"Regarding last week's heavy rains and flooding around northern Iowa, Monday's poor-to-very-poor corn crop rating for Iowa went from 8% to 9%, while Minnesota stayed the same at 6%," said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman. "For soybeans, Iowa's poor-to-very-poor rating was unchanged Monday, while Minnesota went from 9% to 8% -- an unexpected improvement."
Winter wheat planting jumped from 13% the previous week to 28% finished last week with several states making big strides. That's ahead of 22% at the same time last year and also slightly ahead of the five-year average of 26%.
Sorghum coloring was 94%, ahead of the five-year average of 90%. Sorghum mature was estimated at 50%, near 51% at the same time last year but behind the five-year average of 53%. Thirty percent of the sorghum crop was harvested as of Sunday, behind the average pace of 32%.
Sixty-five percent of rice was harvested as of Sunday, behind last year's 67% but ahead of the five-year average of 59%. Fifty-eight percent of cotton had bolls opening, near the average of 57%. Sixteen percent of cotton was harvested, ahead of last year's 14% and also ahead of the average pace of 9%.