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Photo taken Oct. 10, 2018, in Stutsman County, N.D. (Jenny Schlecht/Agweek)

Area harvest moves ahead, but slowly

The Upper Midwest soybean harvest is inching toward completion. But there's still a lot of work ahead for area corn and sunflower producers.

North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota farmers made relatively modest harvest progress in the week ending Nov. 18, according to the weekly crop progress report released Nov. 19 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Much of the focus in agricultural circles is on soybeans, the harvest of which was delayed by uncooperative weather in October and early November.

On average over the past five years, the soybean harvest in the Dakotas and Minnesota was wrapped up by Nov. 18. Not this year.

Minnesota farmers had harvested 98 percent of their soybeans by Nov. 18, up from 97 percent a week earlier.

North Dakota farmers had combined 93 percent of their soybeans by Nov. 18, up from 91 percent a week earlier.

In South Dakota, farmers had combined 98 percent of soybeans by Nov. 18, up from 96 percent a week earlier.

Corn and sunflowers typically are harvested after soybeans, so there's been less concern them. Even so, corn and sunflower harvests lag their respective five-year averages and some area farmers almost certainly will be combining both crops into December.

Here's a closer look at corn and sunflowers.

Corn

Minnesota — Ninety-three percent of the crop was harvested by Nov. 18, compared with the five-year average of 95 percent for that date.

South Dakota — Eighty-two percent of the crop was harvested by Nov. 18, compared with the five-year average of 93 percent for that date.

North Dakota — Seventy-one percent of the crop was harvested by Nov. 18, compared with the five-year average of 88 percent for that date.

Sunflowers

South Dakota — Sixty-three percent of the crop was harvested by Nov. 18, compared with the five-year average of 84 percent for that date.

North Dakota — Seventy-four percent of the crop was harvested by Nov. 18, compared with the five-year average of 83 percent for that date.