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U.S. farmers start harvest

U.S. farmers start harvest

Predicting the yield will be tough, one producer said

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Some U.S. corn producers are preparing to bring out their combines.

About 5 percent of the national corn crop is in the dough stage, the USDA’s latest Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin said on July 23. That figure is down from 16 percent last year.

On a state level, about 58 percent of the corn in Texas is in the dough stage. That number is the highest of the 18 documented states.

But some fields in the state are even further along, said Aaron Martinka, a farmer from Austin, Texas.

“In my area, farmers are maybe a week away from starting harvest,” he told Farms.com. “In fact, I might even start to harvest some acres this afternoon.”

Like several American farmers, Martinka’s season was full of rain and delays.

His crops still show signs of the late start, he said.

“We were really wet in the spring, so we have a lot of variability in the field,” he said. “I’m hours away from starting harvest and just don’t know how to categorize the crop. (My thoughts are) full of question marks and I would imagine farmers nationwide are thinking the same way.”

The U.S. soybean crop is also entering its next development stage.

Around 7 percent of national soybean acres are setting pods, the USDA said. That figure is down from 41 percent in 2018.

The soybean crop in Louisiana has set 72 percent of its pods, which is the most progress among the 18 documented states.

Only producers in South Dakota and Michigan have yet to reach this stage in at least some of their fields.

Winter wheat harvest continues across the U.S.

About 69 percent of winter wheat is in the bin, the USDA said. That figure is down from 79 percent last year.

Only Arkansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas have completed their wheat harvest.

Farmers in South Dakota and Montana haven’t combined any winter wheat acres yet, the USDA said.

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