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Dry conditions allow planters to keep moving

In west central Minnesota, farmers are wrapping up both corn and soybean planting thanks to warm and dry conditions.

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Corn planting on the Minnesota side of the Red River Valley. (Mike Spieker / Agweek)

The unusually dry spring has made for a quicker than normal planting season for farmers in the Upper Midwest. In west central Minnesota , a majority of growers wrapped up both corn and soybean planting last week and now they are turning their attention to planting dry edible beans, said Morris, Minn., farmer and custom applicator Dylan Gahm.

Gahm said soil moisture conditions were “decent” at the beginning of soybean planting during the first week of May, but towards the end concerns of dry ground started to arise.

“A lot of the edibles that aren't under an irrigator are probably going to need rain,” Gahm said. “It’s dry.”

Corn planted in that area during the middle of April has started to emerge.

Unlike other parts of central Minnesota, Gahm said the weed pressure hasn’t been too intense yet.

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“We’ll have another week or two before that becomes a bigger issue,” he noted.

Here's a crop-by-crop look at planting progress across the region, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Crop Progress report. 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.

All numbers are for May 16.

Corn

Iowa — 94% is in the ground, up from the five-year average of 81%.

Minnesota — 95% is planted, up from the five-year average of 74%.

North Dakota — 63% is planted, up from with the five-year average of 47%.

South Dakota — 86% is planted, up from the five-year average of 53%.

Oats

Minnesota — 95% was in the ground, up from the five-year average of 81%.

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North Dakota — 74% was planted, up from the five-year average of 59%.

South Dakota — 96% was planted, up from the five-year average of 85%.

Iowa — 99% was planted, up from the five-year average of 97%.

Soybeans

Minnesota — 88% was planted, up from the five-year average of 47%.

North Dakota — 53% was in the ground, up from the five-year average of 28%.

South Dakota — 66% was planted, up from the five-year average of 24%.

Iowa — 83% was planted, up from the five-year average of 48%.

Spring wheat

Minnesota — 99% was in the ground, up from the five-year average of 77%.

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Montana — 71% was planted, right on pace with the five-year average of 71%.

North Dakota — 84% was in the ground, up from the five-year average of 64%.

South Dakota — 97% was planted, up from the five-year average of 86%.

Barley

Montana — 71% was in the ground, compared with the five-year average of 76%.

North Dakota — 82% was planted, up from the five-year average of 62%.

Minnesota — 94% was planted, up from the five-year average of 74%.

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