Hiccups Hit US Soybean Harvest

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The proportion of soybeans rated in good-to-excellent condition by the USDA across major Western soybean producing states has fallen over the past week due to inclement weather. Iowa has been hit particularly hard, as beans rated in good-to-excellent condition dropped from 74 percent to 65 percent over the past two weeks. Heavy, unseasonal snowfall across much of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and the Dakotas has also impeded harvest progress. As it stands, only 38 percent of the US soybean crop has been harvested, far lower than the previous five-year average of 53 percent by mid-October. The poor weather conditions in the Midwest have caused soybean-pod splitting, which is commonly experienced when pods are subjected to repeated bouts of wetting and drying. Mid-Atlantic states, too, are dealing with soybean troubles of their own. Phomopsis blight and purple stain mold, both of which are fungal pathogens, on soybean crops have been reported by bean and seed growers in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Last week, two cargo ships of soybeans reportedly left the US, one from the Gulf of Mexico and one from the Pacific Northwest, for ports in China. Despite the trade tariffs that are still in effect, China seems to be buying US soybeans again. Brazil’s soybean supplies are reportedly running low, so China may be forced to ramp up imports of US soybeans to satisfy their immense demands. Gro Intelligence subscribers can keep up with soybean crop harvest and progress over the coming weeks using our extensive data platform.

Click here to check out our US soybean yield model.

The chart on the left shows the percentage of US soybeans harvested in 2018 compared with the five-year average.The chart on the right shows the change in soybean crop condition ratings for the Midwestern states that have received inclement weather over the past few weeks.

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