October 7, 2008


US corn, soy harvest pace behind average


US corn and soy maturity and harvests maintained their below-normal pace as of Sunday (October 5), while winter wheat planting remained on par with its normal seeding pace, the USDA said Monday (October 6).


The USDA said 14 percent of the corn crop was harvested as of October 5, up from 9 percent last week and below the five-year average of 30 percent. Last year, 39 percent of the crop had been harvested.


The report continues to show corn developing at a slow pace and that is pushing the harvest back one to two weeks, said Shawn McCambridge, senior grains analyst with Prudential Bache in Chicago.


The pace was expected by the market and it illustrates the crop is lagging and farmers are unwilling to take field losses on soy, as corn can withstand cold temperatures better than soybeans, he added.


The USDA said 31 percent of the soy crop was harvested, up from 9 percent last week, but below the five-year average of 41 percent. Last year, 43 percent of the crop had been harvested.


Analysts had predicted 22 to 26 percent of the crop would be harvested.


The soy harvest pace is moving at a faster clip than the trade was anticipating despite lagging the normal pace of cuttings, said Don Roose, president US Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa.


The USDA said 57 percent of the crop was in good-to-excellent condition, unchanged from last week.


Meanwhile, winter wheat planting was 59 percent complete as of Sunday, exceeding the 54 percent reported last year and on par with the five-year average of 60 percent, according to the USDA. A week ago, 42 percent of the crop had been sown.


Winter wheat plantings are off to a good start, with emergence looking good and beneficial rains slated to move from the Plains into the Midwest this week, McCambridge said.

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