(Posted Mon. Sep 22nd, 2014)
With both harvest and maturity progress lagging behind the five-year average, the condition of the U.S. corn condition remains strong, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Report released today. Seventy-four percent of the crop remains in good-to-excellent condition as of September 21, 19 percentage points more than at this time last year. With only 42 percent of the corn crop at full maturity, lagging progress has not harmed forecasts of potentially record-breaking production.
“The corn crop may be running behind schedule in many areas, but it still appears to far surpass previous years’ both in terms of quality and quantity,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre, a farmer in Illinois. “This year’s abundance has come at a price for many farmers though. We have achieved what may be record heights this year, but the prices offered for the crop continue to fall. For some, current market conditions could even result in prices below that of production. Even as we finish our work in the fields, it is imperative we also focus our attention on growing markets. Farmers must speak loudly and in great numbers to make sure our government in Washington does not take any action that would further jeopardize our markets or increase our cost of production.”
In this second report offering harvest data, progress fell further behind the five-year average. With seven percent of corn acres harvested nationally, a three-point gain from last week, progress lags eight points behind the five-year average. Texas and North Carolina again showed the highest percentage of harvested acres, 67 and 64 percent respectively, while harvest had not begun as of September 21 in seven states.
Crop quality reports held relatively stable from the previous week with one point shifting up from the good to the excellent category. The percentage of corn in dent stage increased by eight points and now trails the five-year average by only two points. At the same time, 42 percent of the crop has now reached full maturity, 12 points behind the five-year average.