Normal weather for Ohio crop harvest

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soybean harvest
Soybean harvest (Farm and Dairy file photo)

Corn harvest is in full swing in the U.S., with the soybean harvest winding down.

Locally, the soybean harvest was the most continuous and earliest in my long (but faulty) memory. Beans are in the rear view mirror for most of our readers. Areas in northern Ashtabula County are still finishing, as those beans still had leaves on them when Trumbull and Columbiana County farmers were rolling combines.

Even in the north, the beans are nearly finished, and much of the movement into our Jefferson elevator this week is coming from temporary storage.

According to USDA, as of Sunday night, the soybean harvest for the nation was at 83 percent, up from 70 just last week, behind the 85 of last year, and close to the 83 percent average for this time of year.

Ohio is ahead of the nation as a whole. We have 85 percent of the beans harvested, against 76 percent last week, 87 percent last year, and the 81 percent average.

Mixed bag

The corn harvest is a mixed bag right now. Some large, well-equipped farmers are nearly done. Some are more like half, while a few in the north have been combing corn on days they cannot run beans.

Drizzly weather lately has left beans in the fields in some areas, even while corn is coming off. USDA reports the Ohio corn crop at 48 percent harvested, up quite a bit from the 35 of last week.

That reflects more concentration on the corn, now.

Last year at this time we were 63 percent done, and 61 percent is our average. The nation’s corn is now reported as 83 percent harvested. This is a jump from 70 percent last week, and close to last year’s 85 and the five-year average of 84.

Above normal rain is currently forecast for the areas, and by the time most readers see this on Thursday, Nov. 2, harvest is likely to be stopped. I am currently, on Tuesday, showing a five-day forecast full of rain for northeast Ohio, with Friday’s 30 percent chance of precipitation the best we can hope for.

Normal weather

In other words, we are expecting normal weather for the first week of November! It is easy to ignore marketing while the combines are running. In general, our markets have been widely different for corn and beans.

The corn prices have bounced along near the contract lows, while the beans bounced 80-some cents off the low, then moderated 35 cents lower as harvest has progressed. Before the moderation in soybean prices, I was comfortable suggesting (but not advising) that harvest beans should be priced because of the bounce.

Who knows if we can get price help from problems in South America? We are stuck with a six-month market because of the Southern Hemisphere’s crop.

Now that we are some lower, the decision is harder. As for corn, I have been recommending minimum price to all who will listen.

We offer a managed pricing program that looks good to me just because we are near the contract lows, but we have nothing but a knee-jerk, post-harvest bounce possibility for hope.

Sometime, we will see fundamental problems that give us better prices for corn. We just don’t, at this time, know what they will be or when they will come.

In the meantime, there is grain to be turned into cash, and bills to be paid.

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Marlin Clark is an associate of Russell Consulting Group, with a local office in Williamsfield, Ohio. Comments are welcome at 440-363-1803.

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