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November Crop Production: October Agricultural Summary

November 9, 2011

While near-normal temperatures dominated much of the United States duringOctober, average monthly recordings reached as many as 8 degrees above normal in portions of the northern Great Plains and Great Lakes region. Sunny, mostly dry weather in portions of the Corn Belt aided the rapid harvest of corn and soybeans, while storm systems that steadily dumped rainfall on the Ohio Valley slowed not only crop development and harvest, but small grain seeding as well. Due to unusually low soil moisture levels, winter wheat seeding and crop emergence in portions of the southern Great Plains was well behind normal.

As October began, corn maturity was slightly ahead of the average pace, but cool temperatures and lingering rainfall in portions of the major corn-producing region limited harvest. By October 2, producers had harvested 21 percent of this year's crop, 16 percentage points behind last year and 2 percentage points behind the 5-year average. As weather conditions improved, Midwestern fieldwork gained speed in many of the major producing States. Conversely, adverse weather conditions in Ohio and Pennsylvania hampered fieldwork.
 
Crop maturity advanced quickly mid-month in areas where progress was not already complete or nearly complete. By October 23, ninety-seven percent of the Nation's corn crop was at or beyond the mature stage, 3 percentage points behind last year but on par with the 5-year average. With favorable weather conditions providing ample time for harvest during the latter half of the month, 78 percent of the corn crop was harvested by October 30, sixteen percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Overall, 54 percent of the corn crop was reported in good to excellent condition on October 23, compared with 52 percent on October 2.
 
Crop development and harvest of this year's sorghum crop began the month behind both last year and normal. By October 9, the most significant coloring delays were evident in New Mexico and Oklahoma, where unfavorable weather conditions throughout much of the growing season had slowed crop development.
 
Despite cooler temperatures in Kansas mid-month, crop maturity advanced at a quick pace. By October 16, forty-four percent of the Nation's sorghum crop was harvested, 5 percentage points behind the 5-year average. Aided by fair weather during the second half of October, harvest in portions of the GreatPlains advanced rapidly; however progress remained behind normal in many areas. Crop maturity advanced to 93 percent complete by October 30, two percentage points ahead of the average. Spurred by a rapid harvest pace in Kansas throughout much of the month, 66 percent of this year's acreage was harvested by October 30, five percentage points ahead of the average.
 
Overall, 24 percent of the sorghum crop was reported in good to excellent condition, unchanged from ratings on October 2.
 
Producers had seeded 42 percent of the 2012 winter wheat crop by October 2, ten percentage points behind last year and 11 percentage points behind the 5-year average. Despite significant seeding delays at the start of the month, seeding progress in Texas gained speed as the month progressed as producers in the Northern High Plains seeded wheat behind harvested silage crops and producers in the Northern Low Plains seeded wheat ahead of expected moisture.
 
Nationally, emergence advanced to 28 percent complete by October 9, ten percentage points behind the 5-year average. Seeding advanced quickly throughout the Great Plains mid-month, as improved weather conditions aided fieldwork. Needed rainfall coupled with late-season warmth promoted increased crop emergence in Oklahoma and Texas; however significant delays remained in both States. Double-digit seeding continued in many States throughout much of the month, and by October 30, eighty-nine percent of the crop was in the ground, slightly ahead of the average pace. Sixty-eight percent of the crop was emerged, 4 percentage points behind the 5-year average.
 
Overall, 46 percent of the winter wheat crop was reported in good to excellent condition on October 30, compared with 46 percent from the same time last year.
 
By October 2, rice producers had harvested 65 percent of this year's crop, 14 percentage points behind last year and 6 percentage points behind the 5-year average. Despite favorable fieldwork conditions, harvest in Arkansas, the largest rice-producing State, was behind both last year and the average pace. Harvest advanced rapidly in the Delta, as warm, mostly dry weather continued mid-month.
 
Conversely, rainfall in the major growing region in California limited fieldwork, and overall progress for the State fell to 36 percentage points behind normal by October 16. As warmer, drier weather replaced damp conditions, producers in California harvested 46 percent of their crop in the 14 days between October 17 and October 30. Nationally, 94 percent of the 2011 rice crop was harvested by October 30, with harvest complete or nearly complete in all estimating States except California.
 
Despite leaf drop being rapid in throughout much of the major soybean-producing regions, steady rainfall in portions of the Corn Belt and Ohio Valley limited fieldwork, leaving harvest behind both last year and normal. Seventy-six percent of the soybean crop was at or beyond the leaf dropping stage by October 2, eleven percentage points behind last year and 7 percentage points behind the average. As the month progressed, warm, sunny weather promoted double-digit crop development and provided ample time for fieldwork.
 
During the week ending October 9, harvest progress of 23 percentage points or more was evident in 12 of the 18 major estimating States. By October 16, ninety-five percent of the soybean crop was at or beyond the leaf dropping stage, slightly behind the 5-year average. Favorable weather conditions prevailed in many of the major soybean-producing States throughout the latter half of October. By October 30, producers had harvested 87 percent of this year's crop, 8 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Harvest progress was ahead of or near-normal in all major estimating States except Ohio, where adverse weather conditions earlier in the season delayed planting and hindered crop growth. Overall, 56 percent of the soybean crop was reported in good to excellent condition on October 9, compared with 64 percent from the same time last year.
 
Harvest was underway in the 4 major sunflower-producing States as October began. With a significant delay evident in Colorado, 8 percent of the Nation's crop was out of the fields by October 9, three percentage points behind both last year and the 5-year average. Spurred by a rapid fieldwork pace in Colorado and South Dakota mid-month, 43 percent of the sunflower crop was harvested by October 23, eleven percentage points ahead of the average.
 
Toward month's end, near-normal temperatures and mostly dry weather in the Great Plains aided double-digit harvest progress. Two-thirds of the crop was out of the fields by October 30, eleven percentage points ahead of last year and 20 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average.
 
With harvest advancing quickly in portions of the Southeast, producers had dug and combined 19 percent of the peanut crop by October 2, four percentage points behind last year but 2 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average.
 
As favorable weather prevailed mid-month, harvest advanced rapidly and was ahead of normal in the four largest peanut-producing States. Warm, mostly dry conditions benefitted fieldwork toward month's end, but dry soils hampered digging in some areas of Oklahoma and the Southeast. By October 30, producers had harvested 73 percent of this year's peanut crop, 6 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Overall, 43 percent of the peanut crop was reported in good to excellent condition on October 23, compared with 39 percent on October 2.
 
By October 2, bolls were opening on 84 percent of the Nation's cotton crop, 2 percentage points behind last year but 9 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Early in the month, weather conditions in Texas promoted a rapid crop development pace in the Northern Plains, leaving producers busy applying defoliant and harvesting their crop. As the month progressed, rainfall limited harvest in areas of the High Plains in Texas. Nationwide, bolls were opening on 94 percent of this year's cotton acreage and producers had harvested 34 percent of the crop by October 16, both 5 percentage points ahead of the average.
 
Nearly ideal weather conditions during the latter half of the month promoted a rapid harvest pace throughout much of the major cotton-producing areas. As the month ended, snowfall in areas of the Northern High Plains of Texas delayed harvest, while producers in the Edward's Plateau and Trans-Pecos made good progress getting their crop out of the fields. By October 30, producers had harvested 55 percent of the Nation's crop, 12 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Overall, 29 percent of the cotton crop was reported in good to excellent condition on October 30, unchanged from ratings on October 2.
 
From October 3 to October 30, sugarbeet producers in the 4 major estimating States harvested 73 percent of this year's crop. After beginning the month behind the normal pace, progress in Minnesota and North Dakota gained speed mid-month as improved weather conditions allowed for rapid harvest and successful piling.
 
Elsewhere, wet soils left many producers in Michigan struggling to dig their crop. By October 30, eighty-six percent of the Nation's sugarbeet crop was dug, 4 percentage points behind last year but slightly ahead of the 5-year average.

  

 
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RELATED TOPICS: Weather, Crops, USDA

 
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