Cooler weather gives Minnesota farmers a break
ST. PAUL — Cooler weather has given Minnesota farmers a break from the heat.
In its weekly crops and weather report for Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday that statewide, temperatures for the week averaged 6.7 degrees below average.
Despite the cooler weather, 5.9 days were suitable for field work last week.
Drier than normal weather in the southern two-thirds of Minnesota reduced topsoil and subsoil moisture to 26 percent short and 21 percent very short.
North-central Minnesota was the only district in the state with significantly above-average moisture, with more than 2 inches of rain.
Corn conditions declined slightly, to 62 percent good or excellent. Sixty percent of corn was at or beyond the silking stage, and corn stalks grew 12 inches to an average height of 71 inches.
Meanwhile, the USDA reported that cooler temperatures across North Dakota have been beneficial for small grains but the lack of moisture is starting to hurt all crops.
The USDA said that topsoil moisture supplies were rated 3 percent very short, 30 percent short, 58 percent adequate and 9 percent surplus.
Pasture and range conditions were rated 2 percent poor, 14 percent fair, 58 percent good and 26 percent excellent.
The report says spring wheat headed was at 93 percent, near the 95 percent average. Soybean blooming was at 75 percent, below the average of 81 percent. Potatoes blooming were 86 percent, behind the 93 percent average.
Sugar beet conditions were rated 2 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 31 percent fair, 49 percent good and 10 percent excellent.
The report in South Dakota was similar. Federal officials say the corn crop is showing good progress in South Dakota, although more rain is needed to meet yield potential.