Iowa Public Television


Huge Crops Slow Harvest, Delivery

posted on October 29, 2004

From the field to the local elevator to the railroad terminal, the nation's grain delivery system is being tested by the record-breaking harvest. Grain handlers are scrambling to find space to store crops as they come out of the field. And farmer selling of those crops has been slow as producers wait for demand to ratchet up prices. We'll take a closer look at the problem next week.

Meanwhile, the U.S. harvest continues, despite soggy conditions across much of the grain belt this week.

Huge Crops Slow Harvest, Delivery Here's a look at the latest USDA progress report:

--Fifty-five percent of an expected 11.6-billion bushel corn crop has been harvested, slightly behind the average pace. Progress has been slow in places like Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota -- three major corn-producing states where less than half of the crop has been gleaned.

--Eighty percent of a predicted 3.1-billion bushel soybean crop has been harvested, which is right on pace with the five-year average.

--And, 44 percent of the estimated 21.5-million bale cotton crop has been picked. That's a little bit behind schedule.

Where farmers store the bountiful crops is another matter. There have been widespread reports of crops being stored on the ground ... and transportation delays as the nation's grain delivery system struggles to meet demand.

Tags: agriculture corn crops harvest markets news USDA