Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Late Planting but Early Harvest

Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist, University of Kentucky

Farmers in Kentucky completed corn harvest and had about 95% of the soybeans harvested according to the October 31 USDA Crop Progress Report. While harvest this year seemed late, especially with a late planting schedule, both corn and soybean harvests are ahead of schedule. The five-year averages are 91% and 69% for corn and soybeans, respectively. (University research plots were not included into these numbers!)

The Midwestern states of Illinois, Iowa and Indiana are above 92% harvested for corn and above 97% harvested for soybean. Ohio is not as far along with 89% corn and 96% soybean harvested. Like Kentucky, all of these states are ahead of schedule for harvest.

Yields from the combine have been all over the board. One farmer said that he harvested his best corn ever and his worst corn ever... in the same field. Over the next few weeks, we will get a much better picture of how harvest finished. The overall shorter growing season would imply yields below trend, but the most recent estimates for yield were increased some. 

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