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Many unplanted acres as planting window closes

With the Upper Midwest's spring planting window closing fast, some Upper Midwest farmers made rapid planting progress in the week ending June 9, a new government report says.

For example, Minnesota farmers planted 29% of their projected soybean crop during the week, reflecting favorable planting conditions in parts of the state.

Even so, many area fields will go unplanted this growing season, especially in South Dakota, according to information in the weekly crop progress report released June 10 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Only two-thirds of South Dakota's projected corn acres were in the ground on June 9. What's more, many of those acres were planted unusually late, which puts those late-planted acres at greater risk from unfavorable fall weather. Only 34% of South Dakota planted corn acres had emerged on June 9; the five-year average for that date is 92%.

Now, after a late-arriving spring followed by frequent rains that further hampered planting, some area farmers, particularly in soggy areas in South Dakota, likely will elect to collect prevented planting payments through the federal crop insurance program.

One crop to watch: sunflowers, which can be planted safely later than most other crops. South Dakota leads the nation in production of the crop, with North Dakota second.

South Dakota farmers had 19% of their projected sunflower crop in the ground on June 9, up from zero% a week earlier. However, the five-year average for June 9 was 54%.

Here's a closer look at the report:

Spring wheat:

Montana: 96% of spring wheat was planted as of June 9, up from 93% a week earlier. The five-year average for June 9 was 98%.

North Dakota: 98% of spring wheat was planted as of June 9, up from 93% a week earlier. The five-year average for June 9 was 98%.

South Dakota: 96% of spring wheat was in the ground as of June 9, up from 86% a week earlier. The five-year average for June 9 was 100%.

Minnesota: 97% of spring wheat was planted as of June 9, up from 95% a week earlier. The five-year average for June 9 was 99%.

Corn

North Dakota: 93% of corn was planted as of June 9, up from 81% a week earlier. The five-year average for June 9 was 98%.

South Dakota: 64% of corn was in the ground as of June 9, up from 44% a week earlier. The five-year average for June 9 was 98%.

Minnesota: 92% of corn was planted on June 9, up from 76% a week earlier. The five-year average for June 9 was 99%.

Soybeans

South Dakota: Just 43% of soybeans was planted as of June 9, up from only 14% a week earlier. The five-year average for June 9 was 93%.

Minnesota: 79% of soybeans was in the ground as of June 9, up from 51% a week earlier. The five-year average for June 9 was 96%.

North Dakota: 88% of soybeans was planted as of June 9, up from 70% a week earlier. The five-year average for June 9 was 93%.