Iowa Public Television


Harvest Progresses; Markets Disinterested

posted on September 28, 2001

Being "grounded" and worried about security could not come at a worse time for both pilots and farmers trying to save their crops. From Arizona lettuce to North Dakota potatoes, a variety of crops are due for treatments of disease and pests.

In parts of the south and California this time of the year the air is usually thick with crop dusters, spraying defoliant onto fields to facilitate the mechanical harvesting of cotton.


Harvest Progresses; Markets Disinterested

Despite the grounding of planes, the nation's cotton harvest is near the normal pace. At the start of the week, when the USDA takes it's snapshot of harvest progress, 15% of the fiber had been harvested, compared to the average pace of 16 percent.

Slug: corn

The harvest of the nation's corn and soybean crops is also close to the normal pace. Thirteen percent of the U.S. Corn is in the bin. That's about the average pace. Six percent of the soy crop has been harvested.

Slug: markets

In the pits traders seem to be disinterested. New information from either supply or demand fronts has been almost entirely expected and markets continue to trade in a narrow range.

The Friday release of the government's quarterly estimate of grain and oilseed stocks did little to support market prices. The USDA report shows a stockpile of 1.89 billion bushels of corn, 2.15 billion bushels of wheat and 248 million bushels of soybeans. The estimate for corn was slightly below trade guesses, but the USDA's figure for wheat and soybeans was well above trade estimates.

Adding insult to injury, Russian officials say their nation has so much grain on hand, it probably can export grain for the first time in years.

Thus far Russian farmers have harvested on only about 80 percent of their land, but the grain crop, mostly wheat, has already produced 84.7 million metric tons, exceeding all of last year's output and running well ahead of projections for this year.

Tags: agriculture crops harvest markets news