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A combine stands idle after a 4-inch snow suspended corn harvest on Nov. 5 near Lake Benton, Minn. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)

Harvest progress, but more needed, USDA stats show

Upper Midwest farmers continue to make much-needed overall harvest progress. But the harvest pace remains far behind what it should be.

The weekly crop progress report, reflecting conditions Nov. 10 and released Nov. 12 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, found that at least some area farmers made meaningful progress in their often-delayed harvest.

For example, Minnesota farmers harvested 19% of their corn in the week ending Nov. 10. Even so, the 63% of corn combined so far this fall trailed the five-year average for Nov. 10 of 87%.

Progress remains especially slow in North Dakota, parts of which were hit with heavy snows in early October. That followed frequent heavy rains throughout the region in late August and September.

Only 15% of North Dakota corn was combined on Nov. 10, up slightly from 10% a week earlier but down sharply from the five-year average pace of 76% for that date.

North Dakota farmers also made relatively slow progress in harvesting sunflowers — 31% of sunflowers was combined on Nov. 10, up from 25% a week earlier but down from the five-year average of 77%.

South Dakota farmers fared better in harvesting sunflowers. They combined 47% of their crop on Nov. 10, up from 28% a week earlier but down from the five-year average of 75%.

South Dakota and North Dakota dominate U.S. sunflower production.

Here's a closer look at corn and soybeans.

Corn

Minnesota: 63% of corn was harvested on Nov. 10, up from 44% a week earlier but down from the five-year average of 87%.

North Dakota: 15% of corn was combined on Nov. 10, up from 10% a week earlier but down from the five-year average of 76%.

South Dakota: 39% of the crop was harvested on Nov. 10, up from 27 percent a week earlier but down from the five-year average of 82 percent.

Soybeans

North Dakota: 74% of corn was harvested on Nov. 10, up from 56% a week earlier but down from the five-year average of 98%.

South Dakota: 91% of the crop was combined on Nov. 10, up from 82% a week earlier but down from the five-year average of 98%.

Minnesota: 91% of corn was harvested on Nov. 10, up from 80% a week earlier but down from the five-year average of 99%.