This week’s Crop Progress report, released shows much of the nation’s corn and soybeans reaching maturity, but harvest remains well behind schedule. The report lists 83 percent of the U.S. corn crop as mature as of Oct. 18, a good improvement from 74 percent last week but behind one year ago, when USDA reported 92 percent mature. The five-year average for the date is 97 percent mature. 

Nationally, 17 percent of the corn crop is harvested, compared with 13 percent last week, 28 percent one year ago and 46 percent for the five-year average. Much of the Corn Belt enjoyed mild weather over the weekend and into the first part of this week, which should allow farmers to catch up with some harvest before the next front, forecast for the middle of the week, moves in. Most harvested acreage, naturally, is in the south, but this report shows some harvest activity in big corn states such as Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. Kansas has harvested 44 percent of its corn crop while Indiana reports 15 percent harvested. Most key Corn Belt states remain report lower percentages, with Iowa at 10 percent and several northern states still in the single digits for harvested acres.

Crop condition continues to look good, with 70 percent of the national corn crop rated good or excellent, compared with 70 percent last week and 62 percent one year ago.

For Soybeans, the agency rates 65 percent good or excellent, compared with 65 percent last week and 57 percent one year ago. Soybean harvest also is underway across the country, with 30 percent harvested compared with 23 percent last week, 64 percent a year ago and 72 percent for the five-year average.

For pasture and range, the agency rates 50 percent as good or excellent, compared with 48 percent last week and 38 percent at this time last year. As we’ve seen through this growing season, trouble spots for pasture and range conditions are in the west and southwest, with California suffering the worst conditions. Arizona, New Mexico and Texas also report significant percentages of pasture and range in poor condition.

The full report is available online.