Recapping 2018 Corn Harvest Progress

FBN Network

Remember corn planting 2018?

Who could forget it, really. Right off the bat, it was a wild ride with frozen temps and a late snow, followed by a mad dash to get corn in the ground.

In more than a few ways, it’s felt like corn harvest 2018 has mimicked planting. Here’s a quick recap of how corn harvest has been playing out based on farmer responses we've received from our FBN network harvest progress polls...

As expected, combines began rolling in the South at the end of August, though in the Midwest farmers who were ready to begin harvesting did so initially in fits and starts into September.

August harvest map pollBy September 25, many farmers had made good progress in the South and southern Corn Belt, and most states were ahead of the USDA 5-year average, particularly Missouri, Texas, Illinois and Kansas.


September 2018 corn harvest

But as October arrived, farmers began pumping the breaks, so to speak, due to what seemed like nearly weekly rain delays. A day here. Two days there. And so on.

 On October 10, Corn and Soybean Digest reported that only 15 percent of Iowa corn had been harvested at that point, citing recent weather for delaying harvest progress. Our FBN farmer poll on October 17 showed similar progress (1,884 farms representing 6.2 million acres responded). Farmers north of I-70 had made only limited harvest progress up to that point.

October 2018 corn harvest map

While the second half of October was also slow going for corn farmers thanks to wet weather, many farmers (but not all), began to make slow but steady progress by the time Halloween rolled around. By the first week in November, they had found their stride.

When we asked farmers how much of corn harvest they had completed on November 7, here’s what they told us (1,950 farms representing 6.4 million acres responded):


November corn harvest map

There’s that vibrant green map of a nearly completed corn harvest—the kind that warms all of our hearts and settles any seasonal nerves.

Harvest wrap-up reminders:

  • Double check your precision data storage: Make sure you’re saving, storing and backing up your precision data—this is valuable information to help you make operational decisions between harvest and next planting… and beyond.

  • Revisit your benchmarking: Take a final look at the varieties you’ve planted by brand, tillage, crop rotation, soil productivity and field size alongside any notes you’ve taken or logged in the FBN App. Before you start thinking about next year, summarize for yourself how this year unfolded, and how it compares to your farm’s performance over time. It pays to stay fresh on this information as you start doing researching to make your next input decisions.

  • Review field maps: Look over your maps and satellite imagery for a visual refresher on all things at the field level. Compare historical maps, side by side maps, different layers to see if there’s anything you might have overlooked during a busy spray season, and breakdown the data displayed in your map with pie charts.


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