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Erin Brown / Grand Vale Creative

Final 2017 crop progress report shows harvest back on track

This spring — or the autumn of 2016 for winter wheat and a few other fall-planted crops — Upper Midwest farmers diligently inserted seed into the soil and hoped for cooperative weather. This summer, they began harvesting their fields. Now they’re just about finished.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service’s new weekly crop progress report, the last one of 2017, released Nov. 27 shows that roughly 5 percent of area corn and sunflowers remain unharvested. The two typically are the last crops to be harvested in the Upper Midwest.

The area corn harvest, which had trailed its five-year average, was nearly back on schedule, the Nov. 27 report shows.

In North Dakota, 94 percent of the corn crop was harvested on Nov. 27, up from 86 percent a week earlier. The Nov. 27 five-year average was 95 percent.

South Dakota farmers had harvested 97 percent of their corn on Nov. 27, up from 92 percent a week earlier. The Nov. 27 five-year average was 98 percent.

Minnesota farmers had harvested 96 percent of their corn on Nov. 27, up from 90 percent a week earlier. The Nov. 27 five-year average was 99 percent.

The three states’ harvests reflect what’s happening in the 18 states surveyed by NASS. The 18, which in 2016 accounted for 94 percent of U.S. harvested corn acreage, had taken off a collective 95 percent of their corn on Nov. 27 of this year, compared with 90 percent a week earlier. The 18 states’ collective five-year average for Nov. 27 was 98 percent.

Sunflower harvest in North Dakota and South Dakota, which dominate U.S. production of the crop, also is wrapping up, the new NASS report finds.

South Dakota farmers had harvested 94 percent of their sunflowers on Nov. 27, up from 89 percent a week earlier. The Nov. 27 five-year average also was 94 percent.

In North Dakota, 93 percent of ‘flowers were harvested on Nov. 27, up from 87 percent a week earlier. The Nov. 27 five-year average was 93 percent, as well.

Looking ahead to next year?

NASS, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, says its weekly crop reports will resume April 2, 2018.