When we started harvest, there was talk we would be in the field well into December, but progress is nearing completion in some parts of Indiana. Brian Early, agronomist with Pioneer, says harvest weather has been about the best weather we have had all year which has allowed the harvest to progress in his area very rapidly.
“I would say we are about half done on average,” he says. ”The further east you go, you will find less harvest completed because the moisture on the crop has been higher in this area; and farmers have been waiting to let more drying take place.”
But with few Growing Degree Units left, he sees little chance there will be much more in the way of field drying.
According to USDA, 82% of Indiana corn has now been harvested which is a big jump from the 48% a week ago and, for the first time this year, above the 5 year average. Nationally, 74% of the corn has been harvested, just 1% below the average for this date.
Early noted that, even when we have seen heavy rain, the ground has been so dry that growers have been able to get back into the fields quickly. The average temperature for the week in Indiana was 43.2 degrees Fahrenheit, 7.6 degrees below normal for the state. The amount of rainfall varied from none to 2.12 inches over the week. The statewide average precipitation was 1.22 inches.
High moisture levels in corn were holding up some fields. Early says those levels have come down enough to let producers really hit things hard, “We are seeing averages in the 20% of 25% range.”
As for yields, they are off from last year but well above expectations, “I think our expectations were too low, so most are pleasantly surprised with the corn yields even though they are down by 15% to 20%.“ He says the same can be said for soybeans, “We normally don’t see good yields from soybeans planted in late June, but this year there are some pleasant surprises.” Indiana soybean harvest is 86% complete, on par with the 5 year average. Nationally, 81% of the soybeans have been harvested.