Measurable snow has already fallen across a good part of the Corn Belt, Lake States and Northern Plains and with colder than usual temperatures setting in, many farmers are facing as much difficulty getting crops out of their fields as they did getting them planted this past spring.
As of Sunday, Nov. 3, 52% of corn had been harvested, up 11% from the previous week. With no change in its condition (47% “good” and 11% “excellent”), the harvest progress this year remains far behind “normal.” A year ago, 74% of corn acres had been harvested and the 5 year average is 75% for this date.
Meanwhile, 75% of soybeans are in the bin. This compares with 81% for this date in 2018 and the 5 year average of 87%.
While most other crops are on or ahead of schedule (cotton 53% vs. 5 year avg. 51%; sorghum 78% vs. 5 year avg. 72%; peanuts 84% vs. 78% 5 year avg.), the sugar beet and sunflower harvest remain well behind schedule.
According to USDA, 70% of sugar beets have been picked compared to 90% a year ago and the 5 year average of 91% for Nov. 3. Only 31% of sunflowers had been harvested as of last Sunday. This compares with 49% a year ago and the 5 year average of 62%.