Soil moisture levels remain a concern in parts of the US

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its latest Crop Progress Report on Monday (October 26).

As of October 25, an estimated 72% of the corn crop had been harvested in the US. This is 34% ahead of the same time last year and 16% ahead of the five-year average for the time of year.

Corn farmers in North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas are almost finished harvesting, while Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin have 40% or less of their corn crop harvested.

The soybean harvest is also progressing well for the time of year. Approximately 83% of soybeans were reported to be harvested on October 25. This is 26% ahead of the same time last year and 10% ahead of the five-year average for the time of year.

50% of sunflowers were reported to be harvested in the four main sunflower growing states of Colorado, Kansas, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Winter wheat planting

Looking at planting and 85% of the winter wheat crop is estimated to be planted, according to the report. This is just 2% ahead of the same time last year and 5% ahead of the five-year average for the time of year.

According to the report, winter wheat planting was 100% complete in South Dakota on October 25.

Winter wheat plantings are still low in states like Arkansas (50%), California (25%) and North Carolina (20%). On Monday (October 25), 70% of the fields surveyed in California were estimated to be ‘very short’ of moisture in the top soil.

Overall, topsoil moisture conditions showed little change since the previous week. In this week’s report, 48% of soils were reported to have ‘adequate’ soil moisture levels in the topsoil. This compares to 44% in the previous week. 6% of soils had a surplus. This is up from 3% the week before.

In this week’s report, 18% of soils were reported to be ‘very short’ of moisture, while 28% of soils were reported to be ‘short’ of moisture.