U.S. corn and soybean crops are being harvested more quickly than anticipated, putting potential pressure on prices in the cash market as farmers sell more of their stock due to concerns over diseases such as aflatoxin that could hurt quality, according to analysts.

The corn harvest was 26 percent complete as of September 16, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly crop progress report, compared with an expected 24 percent based on a Reuters poll of 11 analysts, and up from a predicted 15 percent the week of September 9. Farmers harvested 10 percent of the soybean crop, compared with expectations for 9 percent and up from a predicted 4 percent. "These are extremely rapid harvest paces," said Karl Setzer, a commodity trading advisor with MaxYield Cooperative. "In all reality, the harvest could be over by the end of September or first week of October." The harvest, he said, is currently running roughly 30 days ahead of normal.


According to the USDA report, the corn harvest in Illinois was 36 percent complete as of September 16, up from 21 percent on September 9. In Iowa, the harvest was 22 percent complete, up from 10 percent. For soybeans, the harvests in Iowa and Illinois were at 6 percent and 3 percent complete, respectively. The southern harvest stood with Louisiana at 52 percent and Mississippi at 58 percent.