The frequent rains have continued to prolong fall harvest, making it difficult for farmers to use equipment in the soaked fields, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. Average temperatures for the week ending October 19 ranged from 53 to 60 degrees, and from 2 degrees to 7 degrees above normal. The lowest recorded temperature for the week was 29 degrees; the highest, 79 degrees. The statewide average temperature for the week was 55.7 degrees, 1.9 degrees above normal. Recorded precipitation ranged from 0.57 to 3.43 inches, with a statewide average of 1.57 inches.
By region, corn harvested for grain was 25% in North, 26% in Central, and 52% in South. By region soybeans harvested was 29% in the North, 32% in Central, and 30% in South. By region, winter wheat planted was 45% in the North, 36% in Central and 33% in South.
Corn is slowly being harvested and now requires extended drying at grain elevators. There is some concern about risk for lodging in the corn crop if the wet weather continues. Soybean harvest has come to a standstill in many areas of the state, hindering winter wheat planting which is already 24% behind last year. Farmers are preparing for an extended harvest season.
Soybean harvest is catching up as the gap between current harvest progress and the five-year average begins to shrink. Farmers across the Corn Belt have reported significant soybean harvest progress and above average yields. Corn continues to lag, mainly because the corn in the field is still too wet to harvest. On average, farmers have been reporting corn moisture contents between 22-27%, well above the optimal 15%. The six to ten day forecasts are predicting drier weather in major corn growing regions, which should help dry the corn down.
The USDA estimated the corn harvested at 31%, a 7% increase from last week, but 22% behind the five-year average. Analysts estimated corn harvest at 31% ahead of today’s report. Of the top five corn producing states, Iowa and Minnesota remain the furthest behind their five-year average at 34% and 31%, respectively.