WASHINGTON — While the 2019 corn crop made great strides in the past week, it remains significantly behind 2018 and the four-year average, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture Crop Progress Report released Thursday.
The 18 states that plant 92% of the nation’s corn, where planting was mostly delayed by incessant rain in the spring, reported 73% mature acres, compared to 58% a week ago, the USDA said. That is well short of 96% maturity a year ago and 2014-18 average of 92%.
The report put corn harvested at just 22% as of Oct. 13, while it was 38% harvested a year ago. The five-year average is 36%.
The condition of the corn is proving to be solid, however, with 68% of acres reported good or excellent and 12% poor or very poor.
Much the same can be said for soybeans, which were reported to be 26% harvested in the 18 states that plant 95% of the crop, compared to 37% a year ago and the 49% five-year average.
Soybeans dropping leaves were 85%, closing in on the 93% five-year average. Condition is reported to be 66% good or excellent, with only 11% poor or very poor.
Winter wheat plantings on are right on target at 65%, which matches the five-year average. Forty-one percent has emerged, slightly better than the five-year average of 40%
Spring wheat is 91% harvested as of Oct. 13, a bit behind the five-year average of 100% average at this time last year, when it was also 100% complete.
According to Dr. Charles Hurburgh, a professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University, USDA data indicate a wide range of maturity due to planting dates, but the periods of hot weather scattered through September and early October may have reduced the potential for very high moisture corn and soybean.
Variability will be the key issue to manage in 2019 corn and soybeans, Hurburgh noted in his October Grain Quality Tip of the Month.