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Planting picks up speed

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Planting progressed across Minnesota despite some rain and wind over the weekend, nearly equaling the average for this point in the season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday.

Nearly 60 percent of the spring wheat was planted during the past week while more than 40 percent of the corn and sugarbeet crop was planted, according to the agency’s Minnesota office.

Soybean planting began last week with about 14 percent of the crop seeded — just 1 percentage point behind the five-year average.

The average temperature for the week was 56.9 degrees, 5.5 degrees above normal, the agency said. The statewide topsoil moisture supplies as of Friday were rated 2 percent very short, 18 percent short, 73 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus.

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Meanwhile, an estimated 70 percent of the corn acreage had been planted as of Sunday, compared with 55 percent at this time last year and 69 percent for the five-year average. Sugarbeet planting was 77 percent complete, compared with 79 percent for the five-year average, and the spring wheat acreage was 77 percent planted, compared with 62 percent for the five-year average.

Spring wheat was estimated at 12 percent emerged while the oat acreage, with 76 percent planted, was 24 percent emerged. Potatoes were 57 percent planted, compared with 58 percent for the five-year average. And green peas planted were 58 percent compared with 51 percent for the five-year average.

There were 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork.

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