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U.S. spring wheat harvest begins

U.S. spring wheat harvest begins

About 2 percent of the crop is in the bin

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Combines are starting to roll through U.S. spring wheat fields.

Farmers have harvested about 2 percent of the American spring wheat crop, the USDA’s latest Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin said on Aug. 6. That figure is down 10 percent from last year.

On a state level, farmers in Washington and South Dakota are the furthest along with harvests at 5 and 10 percent completion, respectively.

Producers in each of the remaining four major production states – North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota and Idaho – have all completed 1 percent of their spring harvests.

The farmers who haven’t started harvest yet are eager to do so.

“I’m hoping to get started by Thursday or Friday,” Steve Lacey, a grower from Wendell, Minn. and president of the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers, told “Our crop looks really good.”

The crop may show signs of the challenging spring growing conditions but farmers won’t know the severity until they begin harvest.

“I’ve heard from farmers who have started harvest that the crop looks better from the road than it does once you actually get into the field,” Lacey said. “I’ll know more after I start to harvest my wheat.”

American corn crops also continue to progress.

About 23 percent of U.S. corn is in the dough stage, the USDA says. That number is down from 54 percent last year.

Around 87 percent of the corn in North Carolina is in this stage, which is the highest out of the 18 documented states. Only 1 percent of corn acres in North Dakota is in the dough stage, which is the lowest figure of the recorded states.

U.S. soybeans are setting more pods.

About 37 percent of U.S. soybeans have reached this stage, the USDA says. That figure is down from 73 percent last year.

Soybeans in Louisiana have set 91 percent of their pods, while soybean fields in Missouri have set 16 percent of their pods. Those numbers represent, respectively, the most and least progress of the 18 recorded states. has reached out to corn and soybean producers for comment.

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