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Late-maturing crops and persistent rain throughout October halted fieldwork, making this the slowest start for the U.S. harvest since the 1970s. The delays -- and questions about crop quality -- have kept Chicago Board of Trade grain markets on the boil.
CBOT corn futures are up about 15 percent since October 1. CBOT soybeans, already supported by strong export demand from China, are up about 7 percent.
By November 1, U.S. farmers had brought in only half the soybean crop and one-quarter of the corn, well below the five-year averages of 87 percent and 71 percent, respectively.