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Wet conditions across the region continue to delay planting. File photo

Planting underway across the region, but still off the normal pace

Planting has begun in every state in the region, though farmers remain far off the average pace.

North Dakota, which as of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's April 21 Crop Progress report had not planted anything, showed progress in the April 28 report on corn, sugar beets, oats, spring wheat and barley. Farmers in Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota also made progress.

The weather was slightly more favorable for planting last week. Montana had 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork, North Dakota had 3.5, Minnesota had 2 and South Dakota had 1.6. Not surprisingly given the wet spring, moisture supplies in most areas of the region were considered adequate or surplus.

With more rain and snow already having fallen or in the forecast, farmers in the states may not make much progress this week. But moving beyond the starting line provides some momentum.


Minnesota had put in 2% of its corn, compared to 0% last week and 24% on average. North Dakota also put in 1% of its corn, compared to 0% last week and 7% on average. South Dakota still has not put in any corn, compared to 11% on average.


Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota still have not started planting soybeans, compared to 3%, 1% and 1%, respectively, on average.

Sugar beets

Sugar beet farmers in Minnesota and North Dakota got to work last week, with both states planting 7% of its beets. On average, Minnesota has put in 45% of its sugar beets by April 28, and North Dakota 39%.


Minnesota farmers had put in 12% of their oats, up from 4% the week prior and compared to 40% on average. North Dakota put in 1% of its oats, up from 0% last week and compared to 19% on average. South Dakota put in 7% of its oats, up from 3% last week and compared to 62% on average.

Spring wheat

Spring wheat planting is underway in all four states in the region. Montana made the most progress, going from 10% last week to 23%, compared to 34% on average. Minnesota has put in 2%, up from 0% last week and compared to 33% on average. North Dakota has put in 5%, up from 0% last week and compared to 21% on average. South Dakota has put in 8%, up from 2% last week and compared to 60% on average.


Minnesota farmers still have not started planting barley, compared to having 24% planted on average. North Dakota farmers planted 1%, up from 0% last week and compared to 16% on average. Montana farmers went from 11% to 23% last week, compared to 41% on average.