October 24, 2011

Nebraska corn harvest at halfway point

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said today that 49 percent of Nebraska's corn crop was in the bin. That's 10 points ahead of the five-year average and with soybean harvest nearly complete, the corn harvest rate will only accelerate.

Harvest is behind last year's 71 percent complete at this point...but last fall was certainly unusual and was nearly double the five-year average at the time.

The opposite of that? Just two years ago only about 15 percent of the crop was harvested by this point!

The bottom line – harvest has progressed well, as there have been only a couple of rainy days to slow farmers down this month. The dry weather – plus a hard freeze across much of the state last week – is helping the corn dry down nicely in the field.

Yield reports from Nebraska farmers have generally been very positive and a state average yield of 160 bushels per acre, for a 1.52 billion bushel crop, certainly seems plausible. If realized it would be the second largest crop in the state's history and just off the record 1.58 billion bushels produced in 2009.

Yields last year reached 166 bushels per acre and total corn production was 1.47 billion bushels.

Nationally, USDA said 65 percent of the country's corn crop was in the bin. That's 14 points ahead of last year and 16 points behind last year's scorching pace.

This week's photo comes from the Nebraska Corn Board's 2011 crop progress photo set at Flickr. It was submitted by a member of the Howells-Clarkson FFA Chapter.

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