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Time for second half of harvest

Small grains once dominated most of Upper Midwest crop production. Though other crops, including sugar beets, potatoes and sunflowers, were grown, the region's harvest was largely wrapped up by late September, when small grains usually were off.

No more. Corn and soybeans have expanded north into southern Canada and west into Montana, and many Agweek Country farmers have weeks of harvest still ahead.

Now, the weekly crop progress report, released Monday, Sept. 18 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, confirms that big-picture truth. The report reflects conditions on Sept. 17.

The previous weekly report released Sept. 11 showed that small grains harvest was virtually finished, and so the Sept. 18 report, for the first time this harvest season, doesn't include small grains. The weekly reports don't cover potatoes, sunflowers or dry edible beans, but the new report shows progress on sugar beet harvest.

In Minnesota, 12 percent of beets were harvested on Sept. 10, compared with the five-year average of 9 percent.

In North Dakota 9 percent of beets were harvested on Sept. 10, compared with the five-year average of 10 percent.

The NASS report doesn't address the quality or quantity of the region's sugar beet crop, but growers and others in the sugar beet industry say they're generally pleased.

The new NASS report also shows soybean harvest has begun, at least in some places, though corn harvest hasn't yet started in earnest.

Soybeans

North Dakota — Two percent of beans were harvested as of Sept. 17, compared with the five-year average of 8 percent. Forty-eight percent of the crop was in good or excellent condition, 35 percent fair and 17 percent poor or very poor.

South Dakota — Zero percent of beans were harvested, compared with the five-year average of 5 percent. Forty-six percent of beans were rated good or excellent, 45 percent fair and 19 percent poor or very poor.

Minnesota — Two percent of soybeans were harvested, compared with the five-year average of 6 percent. Seventy-two percent of beans were rated good or excellent, 21 percent fair and 7 percent poor or very poor.

Corn

South Dakota — No corn was harvested, compared with the five-year average of 5 percent. Forty percent of the crop was rated good or excellent, 32 percent fair and 18 percent poor or very poor.

Minnesota — No corn was harvested, compared with the five-year average of 3 percent. Eighty-one percent of the crop was in good or excellent condition, 15 percent fair and four percent poor or very poor.

North Dakota — No corn was harvested, compared with the five-year average of 3 percent. Fifty-one percent of the crop was rated good or excellent, 33 percent fair and 16 percent poor or very poor.

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