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U.S. Corn Harvest Well Behind Normal

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One-fifth of the U.S. corn crop was still in the field last Monday, with harvest running weeks behind normal due to rainy fall weather, said the Agriculture Department Nov. 30.

Farmers had harvested 79 per cent of their corn fields, said USDA in its weekly Crop Progress report, up from the 68 per cent it reported a week earlier.

Cotton picking was running at the average pace with harvest at 83 per cent complete. The soybean harvest effectively was over with only 4 per cent of the crop in the field.

Normally, the corn harvest would be complete by now. USDA has forecast a crop of 12.92 billion bushels, the second-largest on record. Bad weather could reduce its size.

But in Iowa, the No. 1 corn state, only 87 per cent of the crop was in the bin. In Illinois, the No. 2 corn state, 72 per cent of the crop had been harvested. A week earlier, the Iowa harvest was 78 per cent complete and Illinois stood at 60 per cent.

The corn harvest was far behind normal throughout the Midwest, from Ohio and Indiana through Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota and into the Plains states of Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota.

Wisconsin had harvested 67 per cent of its corn, North Dakota 40 per cent, South Dakota 58 per cent and Nebraska 78 per cent.

Because of the late-running harvest, USDA said it would issue at least one more Crop Progress report, on Dec 7. It will decide later if additional reports are needed. Usually, USDA halts the weekly report at the end of November.

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