Ripe corn field with standing water

Crop Update: Corn and soybeans continue to lag average harvested levels

Crop maturity and harvest continue to lag. In the 18 states reporting progress through October 8, corn maturity is at 82 percent, five points behind average, and 22 percent of the crop has been harvested, 15 points behind the five-year average.

In Iowa only 8 percent has been harvested, against a 28 percent average. Kansas farmers have binned only 46 percent; average is 61 percent. South Dakotans are 72 percent complete compared to an 87 percent average for this point in the season. Nebraska farmers are only 4 points behind their 87 percent average.

Eighty-nine percent of the soybean crop are dropping leaves, two points ahead of average. Harvest, however, is seven points behind average at 36 percent.

State Oct. 8 Average
Iowa 26 45
Kansas 22 21
Nebraska 23 46
South Dakota 22 59


Condition reports are little changed:

Corn Soybeans
State Percent Poor/very poor Percent Good/excellent Percent Poor/very poor Percent Good/excellent
Iowa 12 60 12 62
Kansas 15 56 19 46
Nebraska 12 64 12 62
South Dakota 25 40 19 51
18 states 11 64 12 61


While traders are focused on the lateness of the crop, farmers are perhaps more concerned about the threat of toxins that often flourish during wet harvest years. Affected grain can be heavily discounted or even rejected by buyers. For more information, view a PDF on the Iowa State University Extension website.

Grain Sorghum

Sorghum harvest is six points behind average at 35 percent complete. The Kansas crop is only 9 percent harvested compared to a 22 percent average. Nebraska is one point below its 40 percent average. And at 74 percent complete, South Dakota is four points ahead of average.

As with other crops, South Dakota a higher percentage of sorghum in the bottom of the ratings than in the top: 34 percent is poor/very poor versus 22 percent good. Kansas is rated 58 percent good/excellent and 9 percent poor/very poor while a hefty 75 percent of Nebraska’s crop is at the top end and just 5 percent is in the bottom categories.

Wheat Planting

Not surprisingly, the wet weather is holding back planting. Forty-eight percent of the winter wheat crop is in the ground, 10 points behind average. Nebraska is right on average – at 57 percent, while Kansas has only 15 percent planted compared to an average of 29 percent. A quarter of the wheat has emerged, far short of the 30 percent average.

Even though there are ample 2016 supplies on hand to satisfy short-term demand, the harvest delays could cause some issues at elevators when harvest finally does get under way. Likewise, the flow of grain via rail and barge – already impacted by weather in some cases – could see pressure, especially in those areas where bumper yields are in the field.