Corn Maturity Levels and late planting to blame for Slow U.S. Corn Harvest
According to the USDA’s latest crop progress report, the corn harvest is trailing behind five year averages and well behind 2012’s pace, much in part due to the late planting start and low maturity levels of corn across much of the Corn Belt.
As the fall harvest is underway across much of country, the USDA report shows just 7% of the harvest is complete. This number trails behind the 16% five year average from 2008-2012, and far behind last year’s 37% harvest completion at this time.
The slow harvest can be mainly attributed to the combination of a late planting start and slow to mature corn to date. According to the crop progress report, just 40% of the Corn Belt’s corn is currently mature. Like harvesting stats, this number also trails five year averages (55%), and lags way behind last year’s 86% maturity level on this date.
Iowa State University Extension farm management specialist, Steve Johnson, sums up the current state of the 2013 Iowa corn crop in a FarmProgress article, saying, "The variability of corn yields and moisture levels is going to be large across the state. Much depends on the corn planting date and the water holding capacity of the soils."
The late start to the corn planting season coupled with low maturity levels have put a hindrance on farmer’s ability to harvest their crop to yearly averages according to the USDA report and previous articles.