SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- An expected break in the wet weather should give South Dakota corn farmers at least a few days to get back in the field before another storm system arrives.
The state's corn harvest was 49 percent complete as of Sunday, well behind last year's 99 percent and slightly behind the 55 percent average, according to the weekly crop progress report from the National Agriculture Statistics Service.
"The rain is going to slow harvest progress for another three or four days here," Kent Mulder with CHS Eastern Farmers Cooperative in Brandon said Tuesday. "Then the forecast looks pretty good, so we'd expect that we'll be able to finish the harvest."
Todd Heitkamp, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, said another storm could cover much of the state again by the middle of next week — typical for this time of year. "Pretty par for the course to have a little more active weather season with the change of seasons," he said.
Carter Anderson, state director of the National Agriculture Statistics Service, said last year's harvest was early because farmers got the crop in much earlier than usual.
"Last year was an abnormal harvest year and we're really on about average," he said.
Soybean prices of $12.25 a bushel are decent, but the price of corn, at around $4 a bushel, is falling because of a large harvest, Mulder said.
Corn prices last year were a lot higher because a drought across much of the Corn Belt greatly reduced yields, though northeast South Dakota had a decent crop, Craig Haugaard, grain marketing manager at North Central Farmers Elevator in Ipswich, told the Aberdeen American News. This year, most corn-producing areas are recording above-average yields, so the lower corn prices reflect that larger supply, he said.
The South Dakota corn crop is also coming out of the field with higher moisture than other years, so farmers will pay more to dry their crop so it doesn't spoil during storage, Mulder said.
Other highlights from the South Dakota crop progress report for the week that ended Sunday:
— The soybean harvest was 87 percent complete, behind 100 percent last year but near the 84 percent average.
— Winter wheat seeding was 95 percent complete, near average.
— Sorghum at the mature stage was 96 percent, slightly behind average. The harvest was 53 percent complete, well behind 93 percent last year and 67 percent average.
— The sunflower harvest was 27 percent complete, well behind 89 percent last year and 50 percent average.
Crop report: http://bit.ly/1hqGk0N
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