USDA Harvest/Planting Progress

The USDA last night pegged the US corn crop at 88% harvested as of Sunday, only 9 points up on the 79% harvested a week ago. There is no five year average to compare that with, as the USDA reports have normally finished by early December.

Illinois features as a problem state at only 85% done, with progress in the Dakotas even worse - SD at 73% and ND at just 53%. Wisconsin (77%) is also one of the furthest behind, with only Texas and North Carolina 100% done.

Widespread snow and rain is in the forecast for this week, which will do little to help US farmers draw this crop to a conclusion. It would seem clear that some corn isn't going to get harvested this side of Christmas.

There were no figures given for winter wheat plantings, I think we have to assume that what isn't in now in the likes of Illinois isn't going to get in. Certainly if I were an Illinois farmer I'd be looking closely at the price of soybeans right now and planning to switch to them in the spring.

Winter wheat crop conditions were left completely unchanged from a week ago at 63% good/excellent, and the crop is 93% emerged - although again Illinois lags at 87% emerged compared with 100% normally. Missouri wheat is only 64% emerged, compared to 91% normally. With winter seemingly setting in fast, this late planting and subsequent delayed emergence could cause a few problems down the line.