Farmers make rapid harvest progressPublished 10:55am Wednesday, October 30, 2013
ST. PAUL — Minnesota farmers are making rapid progress on the fall harvest after a slow start to the growing season.
In its weekly crops and weather report for Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says more than a fourth of the state’s corn crop was harvested last week thanks to dry weather that made an average of 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork.
Minnesota’s total corn harvest was 48 percent complete as of Sunday. That’s 13 percentage points short of the 61 percent average, but the cold, wet spring delayed crop development across the state, and particularly in southeast Minnesota, where roughly a foot of snow blanketed the area on May 2. Because of prevented planting — leaving unplanted fields for insurance money — local elevators aren’t seeing near the pace of grain offload they did in past years.
For the first time this season, however, the progress of the state’s soybean crop is ahead of normal. Minnesota’s soybean harvest is 91 percent complete. That’s 3 percentage points ahead of the average.
Nationally, USDA reported 59 percent of the U.S. corn crop has been harvested, along with 77 percent of the U.S. soybean acres.