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Published May 17, 2011, 03:07 PM

This could be critical week for Minnesota farmers

MINNEAPOLIS — This could be a critical week for Minnesota farmers, who are running late with spring planting due to soggy fields but have a chance to catch up thanks to good weather forecast for the next few days.

By: Steve Karnowski, Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — This could be a critical week for Minnesota farmers, who are running late with spring planting due to soggy fields but have a chance to catch up thanks to good weather forecast for the next few days.

In its weekly crop weather report for Minnesota on Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said 47 percent of the state's corn had been planted of Sunday, a 19 point advance over the previous week. That compares with 95 percent at the same point in 2010 and a five-year average of 81 percent.

Cool weather and frequent rain teamed up to limit planting progress last week.

Experts say farmers who don't get their corn planted in the coming week or two may decide to switch to shorter-season varieties or plant more soybeans instead.

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