Oct. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Mostly warm, dry Midwest weather last week helped U.S. farmers move past the halfway point in collecting the soybean crop and closer to completing the corn harvest.
About 58 percent of the soybeans were collected as of Oct. 7, up from 41 percent a week earlier and 40 percent, on average, from 2007 to 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. The corn harvest was 69 percent complete, up from 54 percent a week earlier and an average of 28 percent for the previous five years. The harvest pace is the fastest since the USDA began collecting the data in 1981.
“Farmers are wrapping up corn and soybean harvests in central Iowa with about 90 percent completed,” said Kent Jessen, the director of merchandising for Heartland Cooperative in West Des Moines, Iowa. “August rain helped to boost soybean yields, and corn yields are a little better than first feared” after drought in June and July damaged crops, said Jessen, who manages grain supplies for 52 depots in 17 counties in the state, the biggest producer of both crops.
Corn futures for December delivery closed unchanged at $7.42 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybean futures for November delivery dropped 0.1 percent to $15.50 a bushel.
Approximately 37 percent of the soybeans were in good or excellent condition as of Oct. 7, up from 35 percent a week earlier, the USDA said. About 25 percent of the corn crop got the top ratings as of Sept. 30, the department’s final assessment for that crop.
The winter-wheat crop, grown in the Midwest and Great Plains, was 57 percent planted as of Oct. 7. That compares with 40 percent a week earlier and 59 percent, on average, from 2007 to 2011. About 23 percent of the plants had emerged, compared with 12 percent a week earlier and the previous five-year average of 30 percent. The crop goes dormant over the winter until about March, and is harvested starting in May.
Rains the past week from Arkansas to Ohio improved soil moisture for planting, Allen Motew, a meteorologist for QT Weather in Chicago, said today in a note to clients. A warmer, wetter weather pattern will prompt faster planting the next two weeks from Texas to Nebraska, Motew said.
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