The impact of Hurricane Sandy on agriculture is still being assessed but the storm did have one immediate effect – delaying the release of USDA’s crop progress report by two days.
Meterologist Brad Rippey says the corn crop is now 91% harvested nationwide, well ahead of the five year average of 60%, but while much of the corn belt is done, some areas that got hit by the storm were still underway. “Pennsylvania, for example, on October 28 – a day or two before the storm hit – had the crop just 64% harvested. That is ahead of average but leaves virtually a third of the crop in the field,” said Rippey. “Same is true in Ohio with 64% harvested by October 28.”
Rippey says it’s a similar situation for the soybean harvest which is 87% complete nationwide. “We saw very little harvest underway in North Carolina, Virginia and on up into Maryland and Delaware,” he said, noting that just 17% of the crop in North Carolina was harvested by October 28.
Rippey adds that next week’s crop progress report will provide more information on just how bad the damage was from Sandy.