09 October 2012 21:52 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Harvest of the US 2012 corn crop was more than 75% complete in many midwestern states, data released by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicated on Tuesday.
The USDA's weekly Crop Progress Report said that as of 7 October, 76% of the corn in Iowa has been harvested while 80% of the corn in Illinois was in the bin.
The USDA said 69% of the corn planted in the 18 top-producing states had been harvested, compared with the five-year average of 28% harvested by the same date.
Cool, dry weather in most areas of the Corn Belt allowed farmers to keep machinery in the field this week.
The USDA said 58% of soybeans in the 18 top-producing states have been harvested, compared to the five-year average of 40% on the same date.
Commodity traders are waiting with interest for the USDA monthly crop production report on Thursday that should provide the first results on corn and soybean yields.
The US corn harvest this year is expected to be the smallest since 2006 because of a severe drought in major crop production areas.
Corn production for this year was forecast at 10.7bn bushels, down 13% from 2011, USDA said in September.
Corn yields were expected to average 122.8 bushels/acre, down 0.6 bushel/acre from the August forecast and 24.4 bushels/acre below the 2011 average.
If realized, this will be the lowest average yield since 1995, USDA said.
Soybean production is forecast at 2.63bn bushels, down 2% from USDA's August estimate and down 14% from last year.
Soybean yields are expected to average 35.3 bushels/acre, down 0.8 bushels/acre from last month and down 6.2 bushels/acre from last year.
USDA crop quality ratings are an indication of future crop yields. Lower quality ratings generally translate to lower yields and can be a bullish signal to commodity traders.
In the US this year, about 5bn bushels of corn will be used in the production of ethanol. Each bushel of corn on average yields 2.8 gallons of ethanol.
US soybean oil provides about 50% of the feedstock for the domestic production of biodiesel. One bushel of soybeans yields enough oil to produce 1.5 gallons of biodiesel.
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