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USDA Weekly Crop Progress Report
By Anthony Greder
Tuesday, September 26, 2023 9:54AM CDT

This article was originally published at 3:04 p.m. CDT on Monday, Sept. 25. It was last updated with a farmer comment at 9:54 a.m. CDT on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

**

OMAHA (DTN) -- Despite some moderate to heavy rain that fell across the Western Corn Belt this past week, harvest progress for both corn and soybeans maintained a slight lead over the five-year averages nationwide, USDA NASS stated in its weekly Crop Progress report on Monday.

CORN

-- Crop progress: NASS said 95% of corn was dented, 2 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 93%. The portion of the crop rated as mature was estimated at 70%, 15 percentage points ahead of last year's 55% and 10 points ahead of the five-year average of 60%.

-- Harvest progress: Corn harvest picked up speed slightly last week, moving ahead 6 percentage points compared to 4 points the previous week. As of Sunday, Sept. 24, an estimated 15% of the crop was harvested, 4 percentage points ahead of 11% last year and 2 percentage points ahead of 13% for the five-year average. "Illinois corn is 10% harvested, and Iowa is at 9% harvested," noted DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman.

-- Crop condition: NASS said 53% of the corn crop was rated good to excellent as of Sept. 24, up 2 percentage points from 51% last week and up from 52% a year ago.

SOYBEANS

-- Crop progress: USDA said 73% of the crop was dropping leaves, 13 percentage points ahead of last year's 60% and 11 points ahead of the five-year average of 62%.

-- Harvest progress: NASS estimated that 12% of the crop had been harvested as of Sunday, up 7 points from the previous week. This year's progress is 5 points ahead of last year's 7% and 1 point ahead of the five-year average of 11%. "Illinois is 6% harvested, and Iowa is at 11% harvested," Hultman said.

-- Crop condition: USDA said 50% of the soybean crop was rated good to excellent, down 2 points from 52% the previous week and below 55% a year ago.

SPRING WHEAT

-- Harvest progress: Spring wheat harvest moved ahead another 3 percentage points last week to reach 96% complete as of Sept. 24, still equal to both last year and the five-year average. "Idaho, Montana and North Dakota account for most of the remaining work, with North Dakota and Montana at 95% finished," Hultman said.

WINTER WHEAT

-- Planting progress: Winter wheat planting advanced 11 percentage points last week to reach 26% complete as of Sunday. That is 4 points behind last year's 30% and 3 points behind the five-year average of 29%. Seven percent of the crop had emerged, 1 point behind last year and 1 point ahead of the five-year average.

WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR THE WEEK AHEAD

Well-above-normal temperatures for much of the week should help push crops to maturity and soils to dry out from the recent rainfall, leading to increasing harvest activity this coming week, according to DTN Ag Meteorologist John Baranick.

"Areas of moderate and heavy rain fell across the Western Corn Belt over the last week and could create some harvest delays," Baranick said. "But with how dry those soils have been under increasing drought, much of it has soaked into the soils and the delays should be minimal. The system that created the rain continues to spin over Minnesota on Monday and will gradually shift eastward through the Eastern Corn Belt through Thursday before reaching the East Coast. Showers have become much more isolated and less likely to create harvest delays, but also less likely to reduce drought.

"Another big trough off the West Coast will be shifting into the Intermountain West this week, setting up a cold front across the Northern Plains with periods of showers for the second half of the week. The trough may put out enough energy into the Central and Southern Plains for isolated showers and thunderstorms as well.

"Temperatures will be well above normal for much of the week, helping crops to mature and soils to dry out from the recent rainfall, leading to increasing harvest and fieldwork activity with time this week, outside of the Northern Plains, where it could still be a bit delayed.

"Drier conditions over the last week have led to some good planting conditions for winter wheat in the southwestern Plains. And though they were missed by last week's system, rainfall the previous week still has much of the region with good soil moisture, favorable for winter wheat development. If isolated showers do not occur this week, the warm temperatures could sap some additional moisture out of the soil, which the incoming crop would start begging for more rainfall."

FARMER COMMENTS

-- Kevin Somers of Elsie, Michigan, noted in an email to DTN on Tuesday morning that white mold is a big concern going into the fields this fall. "11.5 inches of rain since July 9th really helped the crops here in Elsie, MI. Most hay fields had 4 cuttings, a challenge for dry hay in July-August-September. Corn ended up getting 13 inches of rain this growing season. It had a tough go of it for May and especially June. Much anticipation awaits for yields as farmers open fields shortly," he wrote.

How are your crops looking? Are they better, worse or right on track with USDA NASS' observations this week? Send us your comments, and we'll include them in this Crop Progress report story. You can email comments to Anthony.greder@dtn.com or direct message him on X (formerly Twitter) @AGrederDTN. Please include the location where you farm.

**

Editor's Note: A possible partial government shutdown on Sept. 30 would halt several crop reports produced by USDA, including the weekly Crop Progress reports. To learn more about this and other impacts of a shutdown, see "White House Highlights Shutdown Impacts" by DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton here: https://www.dtnpf.com/…. Also, watch DTN throughout the week for the latest updates.

**

To view weekly crop progress reports issued by National Ag Statistics Service offices in individual states, visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/…. Look for the U.S. map in the "Find Data and Reports by" section and choose the state you wish to view in the drop-down menu. Then look for that state's "Crop Progress & Condition" report.

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Dented 95 90 91 93
Corn Mature 70 54 55 60
Corn Harvested 15 9 11 13
Soybeans Dropping Leaves 73 54 60 62
Soybeans Harvested 12 5 7 11
Cotton Bolls Opening 65 55 66 62
Cotton Harvested 13 9 14 13
Winter Wheat Planted 26 15 30 29
Winter Wheat Emerged 7 NA 8 6
Spring Wheat Harvested 96 93 96 96
Sorghum Coloring 92 85 90 93
Sorghum Mature 58 47 54 54
Sorghum Harvested 28 24 27 29
Barley Harvested 96 93 97 98
Rice Harvested 66 57 57 59

**

National Crop Condition Summary
(VP=Very Poor; P=Poor; F=Fair; G=Good; E=Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VP P F G E VP P F G E VP P F G E
Corn 6 12 29 44 9 7 13 29 43 8 9 12 27 42 10
Soybeans 6 12 32 42 8 6 12 30 44 8 5 10 30 46 9
Sorghum 11 16 31 33 9 11 16 30 34 9 18 28 32 20 2
Cotton 20 22 28 25 5 20 23 28 24 5 15 27 27 27 4

Anthony Greder can be reached at anthony.greder@dtn.com


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