Harvest progresses despite Isaac

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, September 5, 2012- According to USDA's Crop Progress report released Tuesday afternoon, 10 percent of the nation's corn is harvested and more than half of the crop is mature. Producers harvested three percent of the crop this time last year.

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Corn condition stayed steady with 52 percent at poor or very poor and 22 percent in good or excellent condition. The percentage of soybeans dropping leaves reached 19 percent, compared to five percent a year ago. 

Rice harvest also progressed 15 percentage points from last week to reach 42 percent of the crop harvested. This time last year, producers only harvested seven percent of rice. According to the report, Missouri and Arkansas significantly ramped up their harvesting rate from last year.  USDA indicates 68 percent of rice is in good or excellent condition.

Although Hurricane Isaac had been downgraded to a tropical storm as it pushed through Arkansas, the damage to the state's rice crop may be significant, according to the USA Rice Federation. According to the Arkansas Rice Research and Extension Center Director Chuck Wilson, roughly 65 percent of the state's rice crop had not been harvested when the storm hit.

The USA Rice Federation indicated that Isaac caused several downed rice fields in Arkansas, which will “take longer and cost more to harvest, will have lower yields and could have quality issues.”

Reports indicate that 95 percent of the rice in the southern part of Louisiana was harvested when Isaac passed through on Thursday, according to the USA Rice Daily. Before the storm, rice growers in Central Louisiana ramped up harvest, which left approximately one-half of the acreage subject to the weather. Growers reported one or two inches of rain after the storm and some acres of downed rice. 

The storm also damaged cotton acres and according to USDA, 36 percent of cotton bolls are opening, which is about the same as a year ago. However, moisture from Isaac combined with opened cotton bolls sets the stage for boll rot. So far, 42 percent of cotton is in good or excellent condition, according to the Crop Progress report. 

The spring wheat harvest is also progressing along at 95 percent harvested, compared to 63 percent this time last year. For the full Crop Progress report released September 4, go here.


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