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Rows of corn sway in the fall breeze near Washburn, N.D. on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Nick Nelson / Agweek

Listen to the combines growl

The Upper Midwest corn and soybean harvest is more advanced than usual, according to a new federal government report.

That's not a good thing. Much of the region received little or no rain from the middle of June to the end of August. That accelerated crop development, pushing up harvest but also cutting into potential yields.

Spring wheat, corn and soybeans are the region's three major crops. The spring wheat harvest is wrapped up, or virtually so, and the crop was not included in the weekly crop progress report released Monday, Sept. 24, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The report, which reflects conditions on Sept. 23, found that corn and soybeans overall are much more mature than usual. If the weather allows, that should lead to a surge in corn and soybean harvest in late September and early October.

Corn

Minnesota — Sixty-six percent of the crop was mature on Sept. 23, compared with the five-year average of 38 percent. Three percent was harvested, compared with the five-year average of 1 percent.

North Dakota — Sixty-five percent of the crop was mature on Sept. 23, compared with the five-year of 32 percent. Four percent was harvested, compared with the five-year average of 1 percent.

South Dakota — Sixty-seven percent of the crop was mature on Sept. 23, compared with the five-year average of 43 percent. Five percent was harvested, compared with the five-year average of 3 percent.

Soybeans

North Dakota — Ninety-two percent of the crop had dropped leaves on Sept. 23, compared with the five-year average of 83 percent. Twenty-one percent was harvested, compared with the five-year average of 9 percent.

South Dakota — Eighty-three of the crop had dropped leaves on Sept. 23, compared with the five-year average of 74 percent. Twelve percent was harvested, double the five-year average of 6 percent.

Minnesota — Eighty-two percent of the crop had dropped leaves on Sept. 23, compared with the five-year average of 62 percent. Fifteen percent was harvested, combined with the five-year average of 9 percent.

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