Harvests push ahead of schedule

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, October 10, 2012- Farmers accelerated corn and soybean harvest further ahead of schedule, according to USDA's Crop Progress report released Tuesday. As of last week, 69% of the nation's corn acres are harvested, a full 41 points ahead of the five-year average and 40 points ahead of last year.

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"Farmers understand how important of a role weather plays in determining the success of a crop," said National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson in an NCGA release. "While this summer's drought certainly took its toll, corn farmers are working tirelessly to get the crop out of field and into bins.”

Currently, 97% of the nation's corn is mature, with a five-year average of 84%. 

Soybean harvest is also ahead of schedule, with 58% harvested, compared to 42% last year and a five-year average of 40%. 

USDA also reported 57% of the nation's winter wheat is planted, while 23% has emerged. 

USDA reports scheduled for release this Thursday will provide more information on the size of crop supplies. The USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate and the USDA Crop Production report are both scheduled for release tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

"For months, we have asked that those interested in the corn supply practice patience and remain calm while we wait for an accurate accounting of the crop to emerge," said Johnson. "The vast majority of media coverage has relied upon preliminary data and projections to draw conclusions which may prove premature or inaccurate.”

“Resilient and persistent, farmers have pushed ahead steadily,” she added. “As they refuse to quit in the face of adversity, let's show our support for the industry which provides our country with the most abundant, affordable food supply in the world by passing legislation that will provide the risk management tools that allow them to continue doing so."

According to a blog posted Tuesday by University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey, yield losses caused by the drought indicate many farmers will receive large insurance payments if they purchased either RP or GRIP-HR insurance at high coverage levels.

“The size of these payments will be impacted by the harvest price,” he said. “Increases in harvest prices in 2012 are comparable in percentage terms to increases in 1988, a year in which a severe drought also occurred.”

To date, more than $2 billion in indemnity payments has been sent to farmers, according to the National Crop Insurance Services. The top five crops that suffered the most damage from the 2012 drought are corn, wheat, cotton, soybeans and pasture rangeland forage.  


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