COLUMN-Crop Watch: Ohio and Iowa corn notch records as harvest crawls -Braun

The Golden Harvest Virtual Field Days provide farmers with in-season agronomic management recommendations to finish the 2020 corn and soybean growing season strong. (PRNewsfoto/Golden Harvest)

By Karen Braun

FORT COLLINS, Colo., Nov 1 (Reuters) – Most of the U.S. Crop Watch producers reported that last week’s rains significantly slowed corn and soybean harvest in their areas, but the forecast suggests drier weather should set in after Monday, allowing for a busier stretch of progress.

The Dakotas were the only Crop Watch locations where harvest pace was relatively normal last week, but all other producers reported delays. Only two of the 11 Crop Watch producers have completed their personal corn and soybean harvests: Minnesota and Ohio.

Just over half of the producers still harvesting their crops said progress is now slower than normal. The U.S. Department of Agriculture a week ago reported that 66% of U.S. corn was harvested as of Oct. 24 versus a five-year average of 53%. Soybeans had reached 73% versus the 70% average.

The Ohio Crop Watch corn was completed on Thursday with record yields for the field, meeting the expected yield score of 5. The producer was slightly surprised the corn could do so well with such a dry finish to the season, though he credits the success to excellent pollination weather and the lack of persistent summer heat.

Other Crop Watch growers have echoed similar thoughts on how corn yields stood up to frequent dry weather with help from milder temperatures and seemingly perfect rainfall timing.

Only two of the 22 Crop Watch fields remain – the corn in both Nebraska and western Iowa. The western Iowa producer started the subject field last week and the early results suggest yield will easily be record for the field and meet the predicted score of 5.

The Nebraska corn is expected at 4.5. The eastern Iowa corn scored a strong 4.75 last month but yield was short of record.

The Crop Watch producers have been rating yield expectations weekly on a scale of 1 to 5, where 3 is average, 4 is above, and 5 is near record or record. The unweighted, 11-field average corn yield was unchanged on the week at 3.84. The final soybean average was 3.89. (

Six fields scored a 5 this year, both fields in southeastern Illinois, western Iowa and Ohio. Six more fields ended in the 4-range and five landed below 3.