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Despite drought, majority of Upper Midwest crops still rated 'good'

The 2021 planting season is all but wrapped up as the calendar switches from May to June. The crops are emerging ahead of the five-year average, but as has been the story all spring, rain is desperately needed across the region to keep the crops growing.

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Erin Ehnle Brown / Grand Vale Creative LLC

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its weekly crop progress report Monday. With the 2021 planting season pretty well wrapped up, we shifted our focus to the emergence progress and crop conditions.

Although the region continues to endure significant drought conditions, the majority of crops in the upper Midwest still rate as “good,” according to the USDA.

However, Halstad, Minn., grower Kevin Olson of Bitker Farms said precipitation needs to come and it needs to come fast. When asked to sum up the status of his crop, Olson simply said, “dry and needs rain.”

Olson said there are uneven stands in his sugarbeets and beans.

“It’s not nearly as bad in the beans as it is with the beets,” he said. “Our wheat was in early enough that it emerged evenly, but it’s drying now where it’s going to start burning our tillers now and losing yield.”

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Below is a crop-by-crop look at the current emergence progress and crop condition for the region, which is being reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s crop progress report. All numbers being reported are for June 6.

Corn

Iowa: 96% of the corn is emerged, up from the five-year average of 89%. One percent of the corn is in very poor condition, 2% is poor, 20% is fair, 60% is good and 17% is excellent.

Minnesota: 96% of the corn is emerged, up from the five-year average of 88%. Three percent of the corn is in poor condition, with 28% being fair, 56% is good, and 13% is excellent.

North Dakota: 73% of the corn is emerged, up from the five-year average of 70%. Five percent of the corn is in very poor condition, 12% is poor, 41% is fair, 39% is good with 3% in excellent condition.

South Dakota: 93% of the corn is emerged, up from the five-year average of 75%. Five percent of the corn is in very poor condition, 10% is poor, 39% is fair, 43% is good and 3% is excellent.

Soybeans

Iowa: 86% of soybeans are emerged, up from the five-year average of 68%. One percent of the soybeans are in very poor condition, 3% is poor, 23% is fair, 58% is good and 15% is excellent.

Minnesota: 93% of soybeans are emerged, up from the five-year average of 71%. Three percent of the soybeans are in poor condition, 27% is fair, 55% is good and 15% is excellent.

North Dakota: 65% of soybeans are emerged, up from the five-year average of 52%. Nine percent of the soybeans are in very poor condition, 23% is poor, 43% is fair, 23% is good and 2% is excellent.

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South Dakota: 86% of soybeans are emerged, up from the five-year average of 54%. One percent of the soybeans are in very poor condition, 11% is poor, 43% is fair, 42% is good and 3% is excellent.

Oats

Iowa: 100% of the oats are emerged, up from the five-year average of 99%. One percent of the oats are in very poor condition, 2% is poor, 29% is fair, 54% is good and 14% is excellent.

Minnesota: 98% of the oats are emerged, up from the five-year average of 94%.

Two percent of the oats are in very poor condition, 5% is poor, 35% is fair, 50% is good and 8% is excellent.

North Dakota: 85% of the oats are emerged, up from the five-year average of 77%. Eight percent of the oats are in very poor condition, 17% is poor, 51% is fair, 23% is good and 1% is excellent.

South Dakota: 97% of the oats are emerged, up from the five-year average of 94%. Five percent of the oats are in very poor condition, 18% is poor, 46% is fair, 31% is good and 0% is excellent.

Spring wheat

Minnesota: 100% of spring wheat is emerged, up from the five-year average of 93%. Four percent of the wheat is in poor condition, 24% is fair, 56% is good and 16% is excellent.

Montana: 87% of spring wheat is emerged, up from the five-year average of 82%. Three percent of the wheat is in very poor condition, 15% is poor, 35% is fair, 46% is good and 1% is excellent.

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North Dakota: 87% of spring wheat is emerged, up from the five-year average of 85%. 13% of the wheat is in very poor condition, 16% is poor, 39% is fair, 30% is good and 2% is excellent.

South Dakota: 97% of spring wheat is emerged, up from the five-year average of 95%. Seven percent of the wheat is in very poor condition, 26% is poor, 51% is fair, 16% is good and 0% is excellent.

Barley

Minnesota: 92% of barley is emerged, down from the five-year average of 93%. One percent of the barley is in very poor condition, 5% is poor, 22% is fair, 55% is good and 17% is excellent.

Montana: 80% of barley is emerged, down from the five-year average of 83%. Five percent of the barley is in very poor condition, 11% is poor, 27% is fair, 55% is good and 2% is excellent.

North Dakota: 86% of barley is emerged, down from the five-year average of 84%. 11% of the barley is in very poor condition, 20% is poor, 47% is fair, 20% is good and 2% is excellent.

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