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U.S. soybeans dropping leaves

U.S. soybeans dropping leaves

Soybean progress is down 35 percent from last year, the USDA says

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The American soybean crop is inching closer to being ready for harvest.

About 15 percent of national soybean acres have dropped their leaves, the USDA’s Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin said on Sept. 17. That number is down from 50 percent last year.

On a state level, 71 percent of soybeans in Louisiana have dropped leaves. That figure is the highest of the 18 recorded states.

In some Louisiana fields, soybeans are ready for harvest, said Raymond Schnexnayder, a grower from Ventress, La.

“We’re about one-third of the way through our harvest and some (producers) are even further along. The USDA is usually a little behind on the numbers it puts out,” he told “We’ve had some nice dry weather and things have been going smoothly so far.”

Schnexnayder is pleased with the numbers he sees on his yield monitor.

The USDA pegged the average national soybean yield at 47.9 bushels per acre but the Louisiana farmer’s monitor is reading higher than that.

“We’re averaging about 70 bushels per acre,” he said. “We’re really happy with that, so let’s hope we can keep that going.”

U.S. farmers are also starting to plant winter wheat.

About 8 percent of the 2019 winter wheat crop is in the ground, the USDA said. That number is down from 12 percent last year.

Growers in Washington have planted 30 percent of the state’s winter wheat. That figure is the highest of the 18 documented states.

Farmers in five states (California, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and North Carolina) haven’t planted any wheat yet, the USDA said. has reached out to farmers in Washington for a planting update.

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