Cool weather provides crops a break
A break from August's typical steaminess kept Minnesota's farmers in the fields last week and allowed crops to steadily advance to maturity.
Though some areas are still too wet or too dry, conditions are generally good across the state. However, some farm buildings and crops in central and east-central Minnesota were damaged by strong storms Friday night and gusty winds the next day.
There were five days of suitable fieldwork last week, when statewide temperatures averaged 3.8 degrees below normal, the Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service said.
As of Friday, 82 percent of the state's topsoil had adequate moisture, 1 percent was rated very short and 9 percent was rated short.
The corn crop is performing strongly, with 67 percent rated in good to excellent condition, the same as last week.
Ninety-five percent has reached or surpassed milk state and 56 percent is in or beyond dough stage, both ahead of last year's performance and five-year averages. About 10 percent of the corn crop is denting, just below the five-year average of 13 percent.
The sweet corn harvest for canning and freezing is 43 percent complete, compared to 42 percent for both last year and the five-year average.
Sixty-seven percent of the state's soybeans are rated in good to excellent condition, down marginally from 68 percent last week.
Soybeans setting pods are estimated at 96 percent, compared with 91 percent for the five-year average. Soybean plants have matured to the point of turning color only on 1 percent of the acreage.
The small grain harvest has picked up speed in the Red River Valley.
Barley is 48 percent harvested, below the five-year average of 63 percent. Forty-nine percent of the spring wheat harvest is complete, compared to 48 percent a year ago and 52 percent for the five-year average.
Oats are 77 percent harvested, the same as the five-year average.