Slow Corn Harvest

Midwestern corn farmers are hard at work harvesting this year’s corn crop, but they are still far behind schedule. As of last Sunday, only 76% of the U.S. corn crop had been harvested, well below the five-year average of 92%, and the slowest pace in a decade.

This year’s crop was planted late, and wet weather this fall hampered harvest, though most producers expect to finish harvest soon. The corn market has largely been ignoring the delay, falling to a two-month low this week near $3.65 per bushel.

However, many market watchers are still concerned that this year’s crop will be smaller than the U.S. Department of Agriculture is predicting. Citing concerns about crop quality, unplanted acreage, and fields that may not be harvested, there is a significant camp that is waiting for a big price rally. The next major update from the USDA will likely come in mid-January, when the government agency will issue its outlook on this year’s harvest, as well as stockpiles of grain across the United States.