How much can farmers harvest in a week?

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Corn harvest in South Dakota started out slow thanks to mild summer that included above average rainfall for most areas of the state. With corn prices down this fall, farmers waited for their crop to naturally dry down somewhat before taking to the fields to save on drying costs.

For these reasons, the 2014 corn harvest started well behind the five-year average pace, but farmers have made up considerable ground during the past couple of week’s thanks near perfect weather that included very little rainfall to interrupt progress.

As seen in the past, when the conditions prove right, it’s amazing how much farmers can get done in a short amount of time.

The following is the amount of acres South Dakota farmers have harvested each week (along with how far the state was behind its own five-year average) according to the USDA National Ag Statistics Service:

  • Sept 22 – Sept 28: 108,000 acres (12% behind)
  • Sept 29 – Oct 5: 162,000 acres (18% behind)
  • Oct 6 – Oct 12: 378,000 acres (20% behind)
  • Oct 13 – Oct 19: 378,000 acres (26% behind)
  • Oct 20 – Oct 26: 800,000 acres (12% behind)
  • Oct 27 – Nov. 2: 1.45 million acres (9% behind)

As of Monday, November 2nd, South Dakota farmers were 61% complete with corn harvest meaning more than 3.2 million acres had been finished with 2.2 million remaining. As the dry weather continues this week, it is likely that the growing trend of acres harvested per week will continue to rise. There may also be a sense of urgency from farmers due to a forecast of snow in the not-so-distant future. It will be interesting to see just how much can be combined in one week’s time.

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