Spring planting ahead of average

Published 10:05 am Tuesday, April 28, 2015

ST. PAUL — Despite cool, wet weather, Minnesota farmers are continuing a spring planting pace well ahead of last year and the five-year average.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, planting progress was near average for the week ending Sunday — even though only four days were suitable for fieldwork.

Farmers have planted 38 percent of the Minnesota corn crop. That’s 18 days ahead of last year and nine days ahead of the five-year average. A few farmers in southwestern Minnesota have started to plant soybeans.

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While small grain seeding was at least three weeks ahead of average, cool soil temperatures have slowed crop emergence to slightly ahead of average.

Sugar beet planting is 85 percent complete, more than three weeks ahead of average.

Scattered showers and snow helped improve topsoil moisture.