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Rains slow drought, slow harvest

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is reporting extremes of wet and dry, with the Dakotas and Montana still in the grips of drought. Here is the weekly crop progress and condition report from the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, i...

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Jenny Schlecht/Agweek

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is reporting extremes of wet and dry, with the Dakotas and Montana still in the grips of drought. Here is the weekly crop progress and condition report from the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, in a report released Aug. 21.

North Dakota

Welcomed rains halted or delayed some harvest progress. Topsoil is short or very short in 50 percent of the state; adequate in 48 percent of the state and surplus in 2 percent. Subsoil moisture is 53 percent short or very short and 47 percent adequate, with 2 percent surplus.

Statewide, pasture and range conditions are 30 percent very poor, 35 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 6 percent good and none excellent. Stock water supplies are 20 percent very short, 38 percent short, 41 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Alfalfa condition is 35 percent very poor, 33 percent poor, 27 percent fair and 4 percent good.

Corn is rated 50 percent in good to excellent condition. About 98 percent were silking, just ahead of the five-year average, with 50 percent in the dough stage, behind average. Soybeans are rated 47 percent good to excellent, with 88 percent setting pods, behind the 93 percent average.

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Drought-reduced spring wheat crop is 52 percent harvested, ahead of the 45 percent average for this date, with 20 percent rated very poor, 19 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 30 percent and 5 percent excellent.

South Dakota

Much of the state received over an inch of rain, but subsoil moisture remained 62 percent short or very short. Stock water is 50 percent poor to very poor, 49 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Pasture and range condition is 34 percent very poor, 24 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 14 percent good.

Spring wheat harvest is 88 percent complete, ahead of the five-year average for this date. Oats are 89 percent harvested, behind 91 percent average. Barley condition is ranked 80 percent poor or very poor, with 45 percent harvested, behind the 67 percent average for the date.

Corn is only 42 percent good to excellent condition, with 65 percent in the dough stage, behind the 75 percent five-year average. Soybeans are only 42 percent good to excellent, with 89 percent setting pods, compared to 88 percent average.

Minnesota

Widespread rains left only 2.6 days suitable for fieldwork - the fewest in any week since late May. Topsoil is now rated 85 percent adequate to surplus and subsoil, slightly ahead of subsoil moisture.

Corn is 72 percent in the dough stage, or about equal to the five-year average for this date, and is rated 82 percent good to excellent. Soybeans are 91 percent setting pods, just ahead of average. Dry edible beans are 92 percent setting pods, about average, and rated 73 percent good to excellent.

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About 42 percent of the spring wheat is harvested, less than the 63-percent average for the date, with 86 percent ranked good to excellent.

Montana

Extremely dry weather remains, with high temperatures up to 94 degrees in places. Crops continue to deteriorate due to lack of moisture. Topsoil is 98 percent short or very short and subsoil is 90 percent short or very short. Livestock sales have accelerated ahead-of-normal in the past three to four weeks, reporters said. About 88 percent of the alfalfa has had its second cutting, up from the 69 percent average for this date.

Spring wheat is 66 percent harvested, compared to the five-year average of 45 percent, with 8 percent ranked good or better. Barley is 72 percent harvested, compared to 60 percent average.

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