Weather Forecast

Close

Business

Agweek file photo

Finally, a good week for planting

The Upper Midwest's often-delayed spring planting season is virtually wrapped up. Now, attention is focused on crop conditions and a new government report indicates a mixed bag.

Though generalizing can be risky, crops in North Dakota are faring relatively well, while South Dakota crops are doing relatively poorly. Crops in Minnesota and Montana rate sometime in between.

The weekly crop progress report was released June 17 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It reflects conditions on June 16.

South Dakota, hit with frequent and heavy rains this spring, is most affected. For instance, only 56% of its corn ground had emerged on June 16, compared with the five-year average for that date of 97%. That will put growing corn at greater risk from unfavorable fall weather.

North Dakota, on balance, is doing much better. For example, 86% of corn had emerged, compared with the five-year average of 95%.

Here's a look at corn, spring wheat and soybeans, the region's three major crops. Keep in mind that statewide averages can mask major differences within a state.

Spring wheat

Spring wheat, a cool-season grass, usually is the first of the region's major crops to be planted.

Montana: 89% of spring wheat had emerged on June 16. That compares with the five-year average of 94%. There was 68% of spring wheat that was rated good or excellent, the rest fair to very poor.

Minnesota: 99% of spring wheat had emerged on June 16, the same as the five-year average. There was 86% that was rated good or excellent, the rest fair to very poor.

North Dakota: 96% of spring wheat had emerged on June 16, down slightly from the five-year average of 97%. There was 83% that was in good or excellent shape, the rest fair to very poor.

South Dakota: 97% of spring wheat had emerged on June 16, compared with the five-year average of 99%. There was 70% rated good or excellent, the rest fair to very poor.

Corn

Corn is usually planted after spring wheat and before soybeans.

Minnesota: 87% of corn had emerged on June 16, down from the five-year average of 98%. There was 58% that was in good or excellent condition, the rest fair to very poor.

North Dakota: 86% of corn had emerged on June 16, compared with the five-year average of 95%. There was 80% of corn that was rated good or excellent, the rest fair to very poor.

South Dakota: 56% of corn had emerged on June 16, down from the five-year average of 97%. There was 57% that was in good or excellent condition, the rest fair to very poor.

Soybeans

Soybeans normally are the last of the region's major crops to be planted, and so area beans are less advanced overall than spring wheat and corn. The report didn't include statistics on the conditions of soybeans

North Dakota: 74% of soybeans had emerged on June 16, down from the five-year average of 87%.

South Dakota: Just 36% of soybeans had emerged on June 16, down sharply from the five-year average of 89%.

Minnesota: 70% of beans had emerged on June 16, down from the five-year average of 93%.

randomness