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USDA Report for 12/10/14

Published on: 17:29PM Dec 10, 2014

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Crop Production

 Released December 10, 2014, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service

November Weather Summary

In a replay from the winter of 2013-14, cold weather dominated the central 
and eastern United States. In fact, monthly temperatures averaged 5 to 10°F 
below normal from the northern Plains and upper Midwest into the Southeast. 
Cold air also spilled across the northern Rockies into the Northwest, but did 
not reach California or the Desert Southwest. Monthly readings averaged at 
least 5°F above normal in parts of California.

Periodic showers in northern California were insufficient to dent the 3-year 
drought. Meanwhile, little, if any, precipitation reached southern California 
and the Desert Southwest. In contrast, significant precipitation fell across 
northern portions of the Rockies and High Plains. In the latter region, snow 
helped to insulate winter wheat from the harsh, early-season cold outbreak. 
Farther south, however, some wheat on the central High Plains was exposed to 
temperatures ranging from 0 to -20°F at the height of the cold wave.

Elsewhere, significant precipitation was confined to the south-central United 
States (associated with remnant moisture from former eastern Pacific 
Hurricane Vance), the Atlantic Seaboard (in part due to a pre-Thanksgiving 
coastal storm), and the Great Lakes region-where cold, snowy weather impeded 
late-season corn harvest efforts. By November 30, more than one-fifth of the 
corn remained in the field in Wisconsin (78 percent harvested) and Michigan 
(77 percent). Meanwhile in the southern and eastern Corn Belt, the sudden 
cold hampered the emergence and establishment of late-planted winter wheat. 
By month's end, wheat germination was incomplete in several Midwestern 
States, including Indiana (93 percent emerged) and Michigan (89 percent).

November Agricultural Summary

November temperatures were below normal in areas east of the Rocky Mountains 
with a large band of States from the Dakotas to Alabama recording average 
temperatures more than 6°F below normal. Conversely, some locations in 
California recorded temperatures over 3°F above normal. Monthly precipitation 
totals were below average in most locations across the country with 
exceptions in the Rocky Mountains, the Southeast, and Texas. A winter storm 
in the middle of the month led to snow cover in the Northern Plains and the 
Upper Midwest but major winter wheat producing regions continue to lack 
protective snow cover for the emerging wheat crop.

With corn development behind normal for most of the 2014 growing season, 
harvest progress accelerated in November. Nationally, 65 percent of the corn 
was harvested by November 2, six percentage points behind last year and 
8 percentage points behind the 5-year average. However, by November 9, 
eighty percent of the corn was harvested, 2 percentage points behind last 
year but equal to the 5-year average. This was the first time that the corn 
harvest pace was not behind the 5-year average during the 2014 growing 
season, catching up from a 22 percentage point deficit on October 19. 
Ninety-four percent of the corn crop was harvested by November 23, equal to 
last year but 2 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average.

Eighty-three percent of the soybean crop was harvested by November 2, 
two percentage points behind last year but equal to the 5-year average. 
Ninety-four percent of the soybean crop was harvested by November 16, equal 
to last year but 2 percentage points behind the 5-year average. Producers had 
harvested 97 percent of the Nation's soybean crop by November 23, 
two percentage points ahead of last year but slightly behind the 5-year 
average. The soybean crop was at or above 95 percent harvested in all 
estimating States by November 23 except Kentucky, North Carolina, and 
Tennessee.

Ninety-four percent of the sorghum crop was mature by November 2, 
five percentage points behind last year and slightly behind the 5-year 
average. By November 2, sixty-five percent of the sorghum crop had been 
harvested, 9 percentage points behind last year and 5 percentage points 
behind the 5-year average. By November 16, eighty-three percent of the 
sorghum had been harvested, 7 percentage points behind last year and 
4 percentage points behind the 5-year average. Producers had harvested 
88 percent of the Nation's sorghum crop by November 23, eight percentage 
points behind last year and 3 percentage points behind the 5-year average. 
Harvest progress in Kansas, the Nation's largest sorghum-producing State, was 
10 percentage points behind the 5-year average on November 2 but was nearly 
caught up to normal levels at 95 percent complete by November 30.

By November 2, producers had sown 90 percent of the Nation's intended 
2015 winter wheat acreage, equal to last year but slightly ahead of the 
5-year average. Nationally, 77 percent of the winter wheat had emerged by 
November 2, slightly ahead of last year and 5 percentage points ahead of the 
5-year average. Nationally, 83 percent of the winter wheat was emerged by 
November 9, equal to last year's pace but 4 percentage points ahead of the 
5-year average. By November 16, ninety-five percent of the 2015 winter wheat 
was seeded, 4 percentage points behind last year and 2 percentage points 
behind the 5-year average. By November 23, ninety-two percent of the Nation's 
winter wheat was emerged, equal to last year but 3 percentage points ahead of 
the 5-year average. Overall, 58 percent of the winter wheat crop was reported 
in good to excellent condition, slightly below the beginning of the month and 
4 percentage points below than the same time last year. Generally States in 
the Northern Plains had better condition ratings on November 23, like Montana 
at 70 percent in good to excellent, than States in the Southern Plains, like 
Texas at 49 percent in good to excellent.

 


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