The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Oct. 29 crop progress report showed that the corn crop was 54% harvested, up 16% over the previous week but 18% behind the five-year average of 72%.

All four top corn producing states — Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota — were below the average for this time of the year, the USDA said. Iowa’s corn crop is only 44% harvested compared to the average of 70%. Illinois is 73% harvested compared to the average of 84%. The Nebraska corn harvest is 45% complete compared to the average 67%. The lowest percent harvested is 38% in Minnesota compared to average 73%for this time of the year. Corn shippers that use the Upper Mississippi River are running out of time for barging grain. The Upper Miss navigation season's winter closure usually occurs in late November. To prepare for the closure, barges in the St. Paul, Minn., area will begin their final departure for southern destinations starting mid-November, the USDA said.

For the week ending Oct. 26, total inspections of grain (corn, wheat, and soybeans) for export from all major U.S. export regions reached 3.42 million metric tons (mmt), up 1% from the previous week, down 21% from the same period last year, and unchanged from the three-year average, the USDA said. Total inspections of wheat jumped 85% from the previous week as shipments to Asia and Latin America increased. Soybeans inspections were unchanged from the past week, but inspections of corn decreased 19% from the previous week due primarily to lower corn shipments to Latin America. Although Pacific Northwest inspections increased 16% from the previous week, inspections in the Mississippi Gulf decreased 20% for the same period. Outstanding (unshipped) export sales continued to increase for wheat and corn, but were down for soybeans, the USDA said.