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Small grains nearing home stretch as harvest moves toward halfway point

"Halfway through harvest" is a phrase that Upper Midwest agriculturalists sometimes use. It doesn't refer to the percentage of acres that have been harvested, but rather to wrapping up small grains and and preparing to tackle later-maturing row crops.

By that measure, area farmers are approaching the halfway mark, according to the weekly crop progress report released Tuesday, Sept. 4, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The report, which reflected conditions on Sept. 2, finds that harvest of small grains, especially oats and barley, is nearing the home stretch, with corn and soybean harvest still several weeks away from starting in earnest.

But the report also finds that corn and soybeans generally are more advanced than usual for early September, a result of warm, dry conditions earlier this summer that pushed crops, or accelerated their development.

Here's a closer look at spring wheat wheat, corn and soybeans, the region's three major crops:

Spring wheat

Montana — Seventy-five percent was harvested on Sept. 2, compared with the five-year average of 76 percent.

North Dakota — Eight-eight percent was harvested on Sept. 2, compared with the five-year average of 69 percent.

South Dakota — Ninety-nine percent was harvested on Sept. 2, compared with the five-year average of 91 percent.

Minnesota — Ninety-eight percent was harvested on Sept. 2, compared with the five-year average of 80 percent.

Soybeans

North Dakota — Thirty-seven percent had dropped leaves on Sept. 2, compared with the five-year average of 23 percent.

South Dakota — Twenty-five percent had dropped leaves on Sept. 2, compared with the five-year average of 16 percent.

Minnesota — Nine percent had dropped leaves on Sept. 2, compared with the five-year average of 3 percent.

Corn

South Dakota — Fourteen percent was mature on Sept. 2, compared with the five-year average of 4 percent.

Minnesota — Six percent was mature on Sept. 2, compared with the five-year average of 2 percent.

North Dakota — Eleven percent was mature on Sept. 2, compared with the five-year average of 2 percent.

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