Oct 22 - Corn harvest progress continues to lag far behind the five-year average according to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report. With 39 percent of the crop harvest in the top 18 corn producing states as of Oct. 20, progress now trails the five-year average by 14 points. The previous report, released on Sept. 30, indicated only an 11 point gap at that time.
"Planting came late this year as farmers dealt with wet, cool conditions and, accordingly, harvest will be later than normal also," said National Corn Growers Association President Martin Barbre. "While some anecdotal evidence points toward a more robust crop than some had predicted in rural America, it is important to note that these instances may not be representative. Right now, we need favorable conditions that will allow farmers to get the corn out of the field and into the bins. Then, we will be able to make an accurate assessment of how the overall U.S. crop fared in 2013."
Harvest progress lags behind the five-year average in all of the top 18 corn producing states with the exception of North Carolina and Pennsylvania where it surpasses the average by one point in both instances. States in the northern Midwest trailed furthest behind state five-year progress averages with Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota falling 30, 22 and 20 points behind respectively.
Despite slow harvest progress, the corn crop condition improved slightly since the Sept. 30 USDA report. Forecasts indicate 17 percent of the crop to be in excellent condition and 43 to be in good nationally, representing a three and two point increase respectively.