Corn and soybean harvest in the U.S., as we all know, follows a south to north progression.
In normal years, U.S. crops mature in the Southern states and harvest starts before USDA even starts to report national harvest completed totals. However, you can find estimates for each individual early harvesting state in its National Ag Statistics Service weekly report.
As of Sept. 6, corn in Louisiana was 96% harvested and soybeans were 45% harvested. In South Carolina, 81% of the corn was harvested but no start was reported on soybeans. In Alabama 39% of corn has been harvested and 3% of soybeans. Texas reports 52% of the corn is harvested and 24% of soybeans. Georgia has harvested 87% of its corn crop and Missouri has harvested 7% of its corn.
In Arkansas, NASS said 61% of the corn is harvested and 11% of the soybeans. DTN reader Will Nicholson of Cherry Valley, Arkansas, sent us the following note on Aug. 31: "Corn and milo in full swing (harvest); more rice starting each day and beans will start end of week. We are watering later beans and have a dry harvest outlook."
Six percent of the corn in Tennessee has been harvested. Brandon Whitt farms near Murfreesboro in that state and Tuesday he reported, "Very busy down here in Tennessee. Pre-harvest in full swing, checking and testing grain bins, augers, combine and trucks. Preparing to plant strawberries and cutting last of the hay crop for this year. Not to leave out the daily hog chores and retail meat sales. It's at this point in the year that I always begin to question if being "diverse" is a good thing! Lol!"
Jeff Littrell lives and farms in eastern Minnesota near Chatfield. But a family trip took him south last week.
"Traveled to St. Louis and Tennessee before Labor Day week for my wife and the only area I saw harvesting was Paris, Tennessee," he wrote. "Went through Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, and Wisconsin; central Illinois from Mt. Pleasant up to Rockford still looks tough; lots of holes and yellow."
Meanwhile, back home, Littrell said, "1.5 inches on west farm by Albert Lea, Minnesota, to 3 inches in Rochester area. Waiting on last cutting of hay in a few weeks; getting combine ready with last touch ups."
In extreme southern Illinois, Kenton Thomas says corn harvest has started. "Picking corn here. Coming out of field at 16.5 (percent moisture). Yields are good as long as you're not in a wet spot. I should say where it was wet; it is very dry here now. Late beans need a rain real bad."
In the center of Illinois, near Blue Mound, Cory Ritter started corn harvest Tuesday. "We will start picking corn today!" he emailed DTN. "Big day around here. Corn we hope to be around 20-22%. Will know more yield info later in the day! Beans are rapidly turning but most are still two weeks off. Hope to get a chunk of corn out first! It is very dry here. August rain total was less than 1/2 of normal rain fall. We also have had seven (today will be eight) straight days over 90 degrees, that is the first time since July 2012. The late beans are needing water now! And the top end has been pulled off the early beans. Corn, I think, is just slightly above average."
In southeast Indiana, Gerald Gauk said harvest is just getting started. "Corn and soybeans are turning fast here," he wrote. "Neighbor started filling silo yesterday (Monday). It's been very hot [90-plus] for six straight days. Corn is showing some blight; beans look very good."
In northeast Illinois combines are ready, but not rolling yet, John Moore reported. "Northeastern Illinois is seeing early corn and beans turning. No field work yet. Some combines pulled out in the yards. Had an inch of rain over the weekend with more on the way today (Tuesday) and tomorrow. Alfalfa fields were planted but not much other activity. Still a lot of hay to be made."
In Stanberry, Missouri, Bob Birdsell is wondering if he'll get to use his combine this year.
"We got our prevent plant ground and wheat stubble worked and cover crop planted," he told DTN. "I don't know how that's going to be. We had 4.1 inches of rain on Sunday night Monday morning. I know we will have ditches to work back in AGAIN. There is some flooding but may get worse with all the rain southwest Iowa is getting. We finally got the parts for the mower after being back ordered for two weeks, so if the weather clears up maybe we can get more hay put up. I'm ready for this year to be over with! Our stuff was planted so late we won't have anything ready till mid-October. If we would have a hard frost in September probably just leave the combine in the shed. Everyone have a safe harvest!!"
Test cutting of soybeans has begun in north-central Kansas, Doug Zillinger reported. "Saw test cutting in a bean patch yesterday. Lots of chopper and haying activity last week. Watched the 100-plus degree days and 30 mph winds finish a lot of the crops last week. Looking forward to planting some wheat in a couple of weeks to start the new year. Fall cow work is starting as well. The next 30-60 days will be exhausting, but that is what we live for. Hope the good Lord lets us have a yield this year, but know they will be extremely variable."
In the Finger Lake area of New York, Crawford Mcfetridge reported: "We seem to be in a flash drought. I guess it has been about two weeks since mud. Now everything is as hard as the road. Corn that was still growing is browning up. Either from the bottom up or firing the top down. I think it is going to hurt yield. Monday I saw a field of late-June planted corn for silage. It was turning blue or gray. My experience is that field is pretty much done growing for the season. For as late as it was put in. It was coming on with big, heavy stalks and nice height.
"As for most ... the beans are setting pods now. When the wind blows the leaves are showing silver and that tells you that they are out of water. There are brown spots showing up in those fields and those are the dry spots.
"Lawns are brown especially the last two days and the creek that ran all summer is about dry. Most summers the creek is dry. Corn chopping just started this weekend but this week it will be all out because the corn is drying out as I write this."
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