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Harvest progresses, but overall crop goes downhill

Upper Midwest farmers continue to make rapid progress harvesting wheat and other small grains. But the area's once-promising overall crop continues to deteriorate, too.

Erin Brown/Grand Vale Creative
Erin Brown/Grand Vale Creative

Upper Midwest farmers continue to make rapid progress harvesting wheat and other small grains. But the area's once-promising overall crop continues to deteriorate, too.

The weekly crop progress report, reflecting conditions on Aug. 12, was released Aug. 13 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It reflects the dry, warm weather that's boosting the harvest of small grains, while generally hurting other crops such as corn and soybeans, particularly in North Dakota.

The harvest pace for spring wheat now exceeds its five-year average across the region.

In Montana, 26 percent of spring wheat was combined on Aug. 12, up from 8 percent a week earlier and the Aug. 12 five-year average of 24 percent.

In North Dakota, 29 percent of spring wheat was harvested on Aug. 12, up from 8 percent a week earlier and the Aug. 12 five-year average of 21 percent.

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In South Dakota, 80 percent of spring wheat was harvested on Aug. 12, up from 52 percent a week earlier. The Aug. 12 five-year average also was 52 percent.

In Minnesota, 47 percent of spring wheat was harvested on Aug. 12, up from 13 percent a week earlier and the five-year Aug. 12 average of 28 percent.

The barley and oat harvest also made rapid progress in the week ending Aug. 12.

Here's a look at corn and soybeans, which, along with spring wheat, are the region's three major crops.

Corn

North Dakota - Seventy-nine percent was rated good or excellent on Aug. 12, with 17 percent fair and 4 percent poor or very poor. A week earlier, 85 percent was in good or excellent shape, with 13 percent fair and 2 percent poor or very poor.

South Dakota - Sixty-nine percent was rated good or excellent on Aug. 12, with 24 percent fair and 7 percent poor or very poor. A week earlier, 70 percent was in good or excellent condition, with 23 percent fair and 7 percent poor or very poor. Minnesota - Seventy-seven percent was in good or excellent shape on Aug. 12, with 16 percent fair and 7 percent poor or very poor. Those percentages are unchanged from a week earlier.

Soybeans

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South Dakota - Sixty-six percent was rated good or excellent on Aug. 12, with 25 percent fair and 9 percent poor or very poor. Bucking the overall trend, that was a slight improvement from a week earlier, when 65 percent was in good or excellent shape, with 25 percent fair and 10 poor or very poor.

Minnesota - Seventy-three percent was in good or excellent shape on Aug. 12, with 20 percent fair and 7 percent poor or very poor. A week earlier, 74 percent was in good or excellent condition, with 19 percent fair and and 7 percent poor or very poor.

North Dakota - Sixty-two percent was in good or excellent shape on Aug. 12, with 28 percent fair and 10 percent poor or very poor. That a considerable decline from a week earlier, when 73 percent was rated good or excellent, 22 percent fair and 5 percent poor or very poor.

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