(Posted Mon. Oct 20th, 2014)
Corn harvest progress fell further behind the five-year average according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Report released today. While only 31 percent of the crop was harvested as of October 19, the forecast of a high quality crop remains unchanged.
“While farmers are eager to get into their fields, wet conditions have made it difficult to do so in many areas,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling, a farmer in Maryland. “Harvest may run later than normal this year, but it still looks like we will break corn production records when it does come to an end. While we work tirelessly in our combines, we must also work to grow markets and to ensure we have the robust infrastructure necessary to move our crop so that farming remains profitable for the hardworking men and women in rural America.”
Progress fell an additional three points behind average over the previous week, with the gap now a full 22 points. Iowa, Minnesota and North Dakota have seen the least harvest progress with all three states lagging 30 or more points behind the five-year average.
At the same time, crop maturity closed in on the average with 93 percent of corn acres now fully mature.
Crop quality reports held relatively stable for the second week with in a row with 74 percent of the crop still rated in the excellent or good category. This far surpasses the quality seen at this point last year when only 60 percent of corn acres were rated in this way.
Fields Notes Gets On-the-Ground Perspective on Kentucky Corn Crop
The National Corn Growers Association now offers its fourth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.
Today, Field Notes caught up with Kentucky farmer Adam Bell to get some first-hand perspective on harvest in that part of the country.
“Corn harvest in our part of the state is all but complete,” said Bell. “The overall area is about 95 percent harvested but, on our farm, we have been done for about three weeks. It was a great harvest. We got through it with very little wet weather.”
While Bell did not experience some of the more common problems this year, such as storage and transportation, he knows of many who have.
“For some people, there were bottlenecks getting the harvested corn moved,” he said. “Local elevators got full very quickly. People who didn’t have adequate on-farm storage were left sitting in lines at their local grainer elevators to get unloaded and were subject to some pretty mediocre basis. We had adequate storage, so we were able to move along without issues. I am glad that it’s over, but it was a good harvest.”
To listen to the full interview, click here.
Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field Notes follows the growers who have opened their farms, families and communities up this year and meet the true faces of modern American agriculture.