October 21, 2003



US Soybean Harvest Nearly Done


The U.S. corn harvest was slightly ahead of expectations Sunday at 56% complete, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly crop progress report released Monday, while the soybean harvest was 74% done, which was slightly under industry expectations.


Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa, said both corn and soybean harvests are making excellent progress and are nearing completion. And like other market participants, Roose believes that by next week, the U.S. soybean harvest will be virtually complete.


Meanwhile, wheat plantings were moving along at 82%, compared to the five- year-average of 79%. As more and more corn and soybean crop acreage is harvested, soft red winter wheat fields can now be seeded.




Soybean harvest progress of 74% was only slightly under market estimates of 75% to 80%, but equaled the five-year average. Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota were churning along ahead of schedule while states like Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio were struggling to keep up with the average.


"I think what we're finding out is that harvest results are becoming more and more important," Roose said, explaining that less attention is being paid to harvest progress and more focus is switched to actual yields being brought in from the fields. By next week, Roose said, beans will likely be virtually done at about 95% harvested.




With corn 56% harvested, Roose said that corn harvest was making good progress when compared to the five-year-average of 58% and year-ago progress of 49%. Industry analysts expected harvest progress to range from 45% to 50% prior to the report.


But at the same time, Roose noted, crop conditions for corn were raised to 53% in the good-to-excellent category.


"The government is saying crop progress on corn went up 2%," Roose said. "The crop is getting a little better."




Winter wheat plantings were in line with expectations at 82% complete, and emergence was at 61%, which was well ahead of the five-year average of 55%.


Planting progress of 85% in Kansas was slightly behind the average of 88%. However, emergence rates in the No. 1 wheat growing state were seen at 63%, up from the average of 61% for this point in the season. Nebraska was virtually complete at 99% planted, and Oklahoma was ahead of schedule at 87% while its average was 77%. Dry, arid conditions in the west, sources said, have helped to speed along planting progress in some areas. But at the same time, the dryness has zapped much-needed soil moisture.



Source: USDA