Though the USDA may be silent during the federal shutdown, harvest is in full swing across the country.
Analysts polled by Reuters expect corn harvest to be nearing 31 percent complete and soybean harvest 45 percent complete. However, this progress is seen slowing by this week’s wetter weather.
"The rains in the west today and tomorrow are heading east Tuesday and Wednesday. That will provide a shortened week for harvest," Rich Nelson, chief strategist with Allendale Inc., told Reuters.
Nearly half of the Corn Belt could see moderate rainfall and plummeting temperatures, but rain isn’t the only problem for some farmers.
"Some people are also concerned about the frost expected to hit much of the northern third of the Corn Belt on Friday and Saturday," he said.
Frost should do little damage to most corn and soybean plants, but low-developing crops could be affected.
Despite the potential for slower progress this week, corn harvest in particular has been above expectations thanks to the weather. The Associated Press reports that record harvests are expected in Indiana and Ohio.
Chris Hart, an agriculture economist with Iowa State University, suggests that the higher-than-expected corn yields being seen in many states will help refill bins emptied after last year’s drought.
In Iowa, the nation’s top corn-producing state, some late-planted corn is producing more inconsistent results while others in the state are reporting truly eye-popping results – as many as 260 bushels per acre.