U.S. farmers burned the midnight oil again this week trying to catch up on a grain and oilseed harvest that is weeks behind schedule.
Persistent rains idled combines in much of September and October. But in its latest Crop Production Estimates, the Agriculture Department this week predicted a bountiful harvest.
Assisted by another week of dry weather and above normal temperatures, farmers across the Midwest were able to harvest around the clock this week.
USDA figures released Monday showed the soybean harvest at 64% complete. Normally at this time, 92% of the crop would be in the bin. The corn harvest lagged even further behind the average pace of 82% with only 37% of the acreage harvested.
USDA increased November's projected soybean harvest to over 3.3 billion bushels with an average yield of 43.3 bushels per acre. (3.319 Billion Bushels - 43.3 Bushels / Acre) That's up 12% from last year. If realized, it would be the highest soybean harvest on record.
The forecast for this year's corn crop, however, was reduced by 1% from last month's prediction to 12.9 billion bushels with an average yield of 162.9 bushels per acre. (12.921 Billion Bushels – 162.9 Bushels / Acre)