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David Sparks Ph.d Crop Report
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: December 05, 2018

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Harvests and planting below 5 year average

Harvest is winding down, as USDA’s Crop Progress report revealed the U.S. corn harvest is 84 percent complete. The 8-percentage point increase from last week’s 76 percent complete is up from the previous year, representing a 3-percentage point increase from last year’s 81 percent complete.

The corn harvest is down from analysts’ expectation of 87 percent complete for this time of year. Inclement weather throughout the Corn Belt has slowed harvest with the slowest pace in the Plains and Upper Midwest. While nationally the U.S. corn harvest is 3 percentage points behind the 5-year average pace, some states are seeing much larger deficits, with 14- and 16-percentage point declines from the five-year average in the Dakotas. Figure 1 illustrates the state-by-state outlook for the change in harvest pace from the five-year average to today for the week ending Nov. 12. 

According to USDA’s Nov. 13 report, 89 percent of the U.S. winter wheat crop has been planted, down 5 percentage points from the five-year average. Many of the top wheat-producing states are seeing a slower planting pace with substantial differences throughout the Midwest and South. Kansas, the largest wheat producing state, is currently down 8 percentage points from the five-year average of 98 percent complete at this point in the year. Figure 4 outlines the state-by-state overview of the change in percent of winter wheat planted from the five-year average for the week ending Nov. 12.

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