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Drought damage worsens

The condition of drought-ravaged crops across the Upper Midwest is deteriorating further, according to a new government report. The weekly crop progress report, released Monday by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. D...

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The condition of drought-ravaged crops across the Upper Midwest is deteriorating further, according to a new government report.

The weekly crop progress report, released Monday by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, found that crops overall are going downhill. The numbers reflect condition on Sunday, July 30.

The report issued a week earlier, reflecting conditions on Sunday, July 23, found that the weeks-long decline in crop conditions had stabilized somewhat regionwide in the preceding week. But the new report finds the downward spiral has resumed, though not for all crops in all states.

Corn is a good example of that.

In South Dakota, 39 percent of corn was rated poor or very poor on July 30, compared with 37 percent a week earlier and 38 percent two weeks earlier.

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North Dakota's corn crop was rated 25 percent poor or very poor, compared with 23 percent a week earlier and 24 percent two weeks earlier.

In Minnesota, 4 percent of corn is in poor or very poor shape, compared with 5 percent a week earlier and 4 percent two weeks earlier. Though parts of Minnesota are dry, the state generally has avoided the drought hammering North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana.

Here's what the new report says about spring wheat and soybeans, which along with corn are the region's three major crops:

Spring wheat

South Dakota - Seventy-five percent is in poor or very poor condition, compared with 76 percent a week earlier and 72 percent two weeks earlier. And 46 percent of the state's crop is harvested, compared with 28 percent a week earlier.

Montana - Fifty-eight percent was rated poor or very poor, compared with 55 percent a week earlier and 61 percent two weeks earlier. Five percent of the state's corp is harvested, compared with none a week earlier.

North Dakota - Forty-four percent is in poor or very poor shape, compared with 39 percent a week earlier and 40 percent two weeks earlier. Five percent of the state's crop is harvested, compared with 1 percent a week earlier.

Minnesota - One percent was rated poor or very poor, compared with 3 percent a week earlier and 2 percent two weeks earlier. Three percent of the state's crop is harvested, compared with none a week earlier.

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Soybeans

South Dakota - Thirty-five percent is in poor or very poor shape, compared with 34 percent a week earlier and 33 percent two weeks earlier.

North Dakota - Twenty-four percent was rated poor or very poor, compared with 23 percent a week earlier and 25 percent two weeks earlier.

Minnesota - Six percent is in poor or very poor condition, unchanged from each of the previous two weeks.

Upper Midwest soybeans rely heavily on August precipitation to develop normally, so the overall condition of the region's bean crop will continue to decline without substantial rain.

Related Topics: DROUGHTCROP PROGRESS
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