US Harvest Pace At A Crawl

It's official, this year's US harvest pace is comfortably the slowest in the last thirty years. The flip-side of benign and non-threatening weather all summer long, is a very late maturing crop and combines rolling in the snow.

The USDA confirmed last night that only 17% of the corn crop has been harvested so far, that is a quite astonishingly low just four point increase in a week. That's well behind the five year average of 46%, and five points lower than the previous slowest pace in the last thirty years of 22 percent on October 18, 1992. Illinois sees just 11% of the crop in the barn, compared to 68% normally.

For soybeans the harvest was 30% complete as of Sunday, only a seven point increase on last week and less than half the five year average of 72%. The previous slowest harvest pace in the last thirty years was 34 percent on October 18, 1985. In rain-sodden Illinois only 13% of the crop is in, compared to 79% normally.

Winter wheat plantings were 69% complete, compared to 78% normally, the USDA said. It's the soft red winter wheat states in the east that are particularly struggling. They need to get their beans cut before they can plant wheat. In Illinois wheat planting crawled from 12% complete last week to just 13% done as of Sunday. The five year average is 67%.