A dry fall has led to an all-out sprint to the finish for the 2011 corn, soybean and cotton crops.
Combines are moving quickly through the 18 states that produce the majority of the nation’s corn. According to USDA, 65 percent of the fields are harvested. That pace is way ahead of the 5-year average of 51 percent, but trailing last year’s rate of 81 percent. In the nation’s top corn-producing state of Iowa, harvest is more than 2-weeks ahead of schedule.
USDA estimates 80 percent of the nation’s soybeans is in the bin. That’s behind last year’s blistering pace of 91 percent, but still well ahead of the 5-year average pace of 71 percent.
And 44 percent of America’s cotton is now baled. That’s well ahead of the 5-year average, but slightly behind this time last year when 49 percent was harvested at this time.