Matt Flikkema's 2021 crops have emerged and, all things considered, aren't doing too badly. But he would appreciate rain, sooner rather than later.

"Yes, we sure could use it," said the Manhattan, Mont., farmer who raises winter wheat and malt barley. He also said his fields aren't as badly in need of moisture as those of many other area farmers.

Though Flikkema's planting is wrapped up, planting of small grains continues in the region, as does planting of row crops, according to the weekly crop progress released May 3 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The report reflected conditions on May 2.

Most of the region remains very dry or in drought. Though the absence of rain threatens 2021 crops, it also allows farmers to spend more time planting. Farmers in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota all averaged more than six days suitable for fieldwork in the week ending May 2, according to the crop progress report.

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In general, North Dakota's planting pace trails the rest of the region. That results from snowstorms and cold in mid-April that, though providing very little moisture for crops, subsequently shut down planting for many days.

The Manhattan area, in north-central Montana, went into spring very dry and has received about an inch of rain so far this growing season. That's not much, but it's allowed his two-row malt barley, planted this spring, and his winter wheat, planted last fall, to get off to a decent start this crop season

"A lot of places have it a lot worse," he said.

But though there's still some moisture in his fields for growing crops to tap, more rain is needed soon, he said.

Here's a crop-by-crop look at planting progress across the region. All numbers are for May 2. Keep in mind that the five-year averages were influenced by several years of unusually wet, cold springs, which means this year's planting pace isn't as advanced as comparisons to the five-year averages would indicate.

Also keep in mind that the numbers are statewide averages that includes pockets of rapid planting progress and pockets were planting is much less advanced.

Corn

Iowa — 69% is in the ground, up from the five-year average of 45%.

Minnesota — 60% is planted, up from the five-year average of 32%.

North Dakota — 14% is planted, compared with the five-year average of 8%.

South Dakota — 35% is planted, up from the five-year average of 13%.

Oats

Minnesota — 69% was in the ground, up from the five-year average of 43%.

North Dakota — 20% was planted, up from from the five-year average of 19%.

South Dakota — 74% was planted, up from the five-year average of 44%.

Iowa — 95% was planted, up from the five-year average of 85%.

Sugarbeets

North Dakota — 68% of the crop was planted, up from the five-year average of 37%.

Minnesota — 79% of the crop was in the ground, up from the five-year average of 44%.

Soybeans

Minnesota — 23% was planted, up from the five-year average of 9%

North Dakota — 2% was in the ground, the same as the five-year average.

South Dakota — 8% was planted, up from the five-year average of 3%.

Iowa — 43% was planted, up from the five-year average of 14%.

Spring wheat

Minnesota — 72% was in the ground, up from the five-year average of 27%.

Montana — 33% was planted, down from the five-year average of 34%.

North Dakota — 42% was in the ground, up from the five-year average of 20%.

South Dakota — 62% was planted , up from the five-year average of 39%.

South Dakota — 81% was planted, up from the five-year average of 54%.

Barley

Montana — 38% was in the ground, compared with the five-year average of 39%.

North Dakota — 39% was planted, up from the five-year average of 16%.

Minnesota — 63% was planted, up from the five-year average of 21%.