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Harvest in early stages for late-season crops

FARGO, N.D. - Weather - particularly rain - can change the prospects for the region's crops in a hurry. Here is a snapshot of the region's late-season crop picture, per the National Agricultural Statistics Service weekly crop-weather estimates Sept.

FARGO, N.D. - Weather - particularly rain - can change the prospects for the region's crops in a hurry. Here is a snapshot of the region's late-season crop picture, per the National Agricultural Statistics Service weekly crop-weather estimates Sept. 23.

North Dakota

The corn crop was 65 percent mature, progressing from 48 per cent mature the previous week. That was behind last year's 83 percent mature at this date, but well ahead of the five-year average of 51 percent, taking in 2002 to 2006.

About 2 percent of the corn has been harvested in the state, according to the report.

The corn crop is ranked 3 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 17 percent fair, 58 percent good and 17 percent excellent.

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Soybeans at the "dropping leaves" stage stood at 88 percent for Sept. 23, compared with 97 percent in 2006 and the five-year average of 78 percent. Only 8 percent of the soybeans had been harvested - far less than last year's 25 percent for this date and the five-year average of 13 percent.

Soybean condition was ranked 4 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 14 percent fair, 59 percent good and 20 percent excellent.

Sugar beet harvest is 11 percent complete, ahead of the 6 percent average for this date, still ahead of full-scale harvest.

Pasture and range crops are ranked 3 percent very poor, 15 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 44 percent good and 5 percent excellent.

Minnesota

Minnesota's corn was 87 percent mature, up from 73 percent the previous week. The crop compares with 73 percent mature in 2006 at this date, but is far ahead of the 54 percent mature for the five-year average.

Nine percent of the corn in the state has been harvested, up from 2 percent last year and 2 percent for the five-year average.

Corn is ranked 10 percent poor, 14 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 36 percent good and 7 percent excellent.

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Dropping-leaf stage soybeans were 96 percent, which had come up from 81 percent the previous week. The average is significantly higher than the 86 percent in 2006 and the five-year average of 77 percent.

Soybean harvest in the state was 13 percent, up from 6 percent last year and the five-year average of 9 percent. Soybean crop condition was ranked 5 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 31 percent fair, 44 percent good and only 9 percent excellent.

Sugar beet harvest is 10 percent complete, up from the five-year average of 7 percent.

Pasture and range conditions are variable, with 10 percent very poor, 19 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 30 percent good and 4 percent excellent.

South Dakota

South Dakota's corn was 67 percent mature Sept. 23, up from 42 percent mature the previous week, but still ahead of the 57 percent in 2006 and the 53 percent, five-year average for this date.

Corn harvest is 7 percent complete, just ahead of last year's 6 percent at this date, and the five-year average of 5 percent. Surveys ranked the corn 3 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 24 percent fair, 55 percent good and 13 percent excellent.

Soybeans in the full-mature, leaf-dropping stage were 81 percent - up from 61 percent the previous week. The figure is slightly under last year's 86 percent, which is also the five-year average for the state.

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Only 1 percent of the state's soybeans had been harvested, compared with last year's 2 percent and the five-year average of 6 percent.

Sorghum was 100 percent coloring, which is about normal. Some 74 percent was mature, compared with a 44 percent five-year average. About 8 percent had been harvested. Sorghum crop condition was ranked 3 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 38 percent fair, 42 percent good and 11 percent excellent.

Winter wheat plantings were 60 percent complete, about the same pace as last year, but up from the 52 percent five-year average. Some 19 percent of the winter wheat already had emerged.

Pasture and range conditions were ranked 3 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 48 percent good and 6 percent excellent.

MontanaSome 54 percent of the state's winter wheat plantings

were complete as of Sept. 23 - 54 percent. That's up from 28 percent the previous week, so farmers were making excellent progress. The plantings were only 45 percent complete at this date last year, and the five-year average is 50 percent. Five percent of the winter wheat plantings had already emerged.

Pasture and range conditions were ranked 12 percent very poor, 20 percent poor, 42 percent fair, 23 percent good and 3 percent excellent.

Sidney Sugars Inc. of Sidney, Mont., was scheduled to start its beet harvest for one piling station Sept. 28, and stagger the start of others through the weekend. The factory was scheduled to start operating Oct. 1.

The 24.8-ton-per-acre projection for this year's yield is 2 to 3 tons above the five-year average, says Steve Sing, plant manager.

Quality is down a bit from what Sidney Sugars is used to. The processing season is expected to run through Feb. 16, which is about normal. This year's crop had a little early cercospora because of some humid early days. The crop lagged in July, with temperatures in the 108 to 111 range for a couple of weeks, but generally turned out to be in good shape.

"Everybody's looking forward to a good harvest," Sing says.

There's still no decision on whether there'll be Roundup Ready beets in Sidney next year.

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