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Wheat harvest begins in Upper Midwest; but pace well behind normal

Harvest has begun in the Upper Midwest. It's just getting started and it's not as advanced as normal, but it's finally underway.

A fraction of wheat in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana was harvested as of Aug. 4, according to the weekly crop progress released Aug. 5 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Wheat, corn and soybeans are the region's three major crops. Typically, wheat is the first to be planted and the first to be harvested.

Corn and soybeans continue to mature, though spring planting difficulties have put many corn and soybean fields well behind their normal development, especially in South Dakota.

Here's a closer look at the three major crops.

Spring wheat

Montana: 1% of the crop was harvested as of Aug. 4, compared with the five-year average of 11% for that date; 69% of the crop was rated good or excellent, the rest fair to very poor.

Minnesota: 1% of the crop was harvested by Aug. 4, compared with the five-year average of 13% for that date; 84% of the crop was rated good or excellent, the rest fair to very poor.

North Dakota: 1% of the crop was harvested by Aug. 4, compared with the five-year average of 8%; 75% of the crop was in good or excellent shape, the rest fair to very poor.

South Dakota: 5% of spring wheat was harvested by Aug. 4, compared with the five-year average of 42%; 67% was rated good or excellent, the rest fair to very poor.

Corn

Minnesota: 83% of corn had silked by Aug. 4, compared with the five-year average of 93%; 57% was rated good or excellent, the rest fair to very poor.

North Dakota: 70% of the crop had silked by Aug. 4, down from the five-year average of 82%; 73% was in good or excellent shape, the rest fair to very poor.

South Dakota: 64% of corn had silked by Aug. 4, compared with the five-year average of 90%; 66% was rated good or excellent, the rest fair to very poor.

Soybeans

North Dakota: 85% of soybeans had bloomed by Aug. 4, compared with the five-year average of 93%; 63% was rated good or excellent, the rest fair to very poor.

South Dakota: 75% of beans had bloomed by Aug. 4, compared with the five-year average of 89%; 54% was in good or excellent shape, the rest fair to very poor.

Minnesota: 90% of soybeans had bloomed by Aug. 4, compared with the five-year average of 93%; 61% was rated good or excellent, the rest fair to very poor.

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