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Area crops ahead of schedule as rainy days arrive

Farmers do field work May 3 on land near the Zumbro River about a mile from Kellogg, Minn.

WINONA — Most farm fields in southeaster Minnesota are ahead of schedule this year after a number of warm, sunny days this spring.

Weekly crop progress reports were released Monday by the USDA, showing farmers in Minnesota had made good progress on their corn, soybeans and hay crops.

Despite a late frost that hurt some area fruit growers last week, most of the crops are in good shape, but farmers could use the rain that is scheduled to fall during the next seven days.

Minnesota is well ahead of schedule with nearly all of the corn planted and 86 percent of soybeans in the ground. Across the state, more than 65 percent of the corn is rated good or excellent as well as 77 percent of the hay crop, with Winona County University of Minnesota Extension agent Jake Overgaard saying the corn and bean crops were still young enough to escape most of the damage from last week's cold weather.

"It's been a nice year so far," he said. "We had decent planting conditions and things seem to be going well."


With the weather cooperating, prices are the big thing on the minds of farmers, Overgaard said, as corn, soybean and milk prices continue to remain low. According to the USDA, milk prices are at the lowest they have been since the beginning of 2015 around $15.80 per hundredweight in March. Corn and bean prices in March were also low, between $3.25 and $3.50 per bushel for corn and between $8 and $8.60 per bushel for soybeans.

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