Corn crop harvest lagging behind five-year average

by Laura Lloyd
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WASHINGTON — The 2013 corn harvest remained well behind the five-year average in the week ended Sept. 29, while the maturity of the crop, though still behind average, moved decisively forward.

The US Department of Agriculture in its Crop Progress report released Sept. 30, said 12 percent of the crop was harvested in the latest week, up modestly from 7 percent a week earlier but down from a 23 percent five-year average and behind 52 percent last year, when the harvest was early.

The USDA said 63 percent of the crop was mature in the latest week, behind the 70 percent five-year average but up from 40 percent mature the previous week.

The corn crop experienced planting delays this spring from an excess of cool, wet weather, in stark contrast to 2012, when the midsection of the US experienced what was sometimes called a 50-year drought.
The crop was rated 55 percent good to excellent, unchanged from a week earlier (but far better than 25 percent a year ago), with 29 percent fair and 16 percent very poor to poor.

The soybean crop made significant progress in dropping leaves but remained moderately behind the five-year average for the date. The USDA said 67 percent of the crop had dropped leaves as of Sept. 29, compared to a 74 percent five-year average. In the week ended Sept. 22, 47 percent of the crop had dropped leaves.

Like the corn crop, the 2013 soybean crop experienced planting delays because of wet weather. A total of 11 percent of the crop was harvested as of Sept. 29, down from a 20 percent five-year average but up from 3 percent the previous week.

The crop’s condition improved modestly in the latest week. The USDA said 53 percent of the crop in the 18 major states was in good-to-excellent condition, up from 50 percent the previous week, while 15 percent was in very poor to poor condition, down from 17 percent the previous week.
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