Mostly dry conditions allowed Minnesota farmers to continue small grain harvest during the week ending August 25, said officials with the Minnesota Field Office of the SDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Warmer than normal temperatures and continued sunny days led to nearly 7 days suitable for field work. Statewide average temperatures were 6.7 degrees above normal at 73.5 degrees. An average of 0.31 inch of rain fell statewide, 0.50 inch below normal.
The Northwest district was the only region to receive above normal precipitation at 0.90 inch. Topsoil and subsoil moisture levels continued to decline and were rated 66% and 56% very short or very short, respectively.
Eighty-five percent of the corn crop was at or beyond the milk stage, compared to the five-year average of 94%. Corn at or beyond the dough stage advanced to 44%, compared with 96% last year and the average of 66%.
Corn is 5% dented, two weeks behind normal.
Corn conditions were rated 3% very poor, 9% poor, 32% fair, 46% good and 10% excellent.
Eight-five percent of soybeans were setting pods, lagging behind last year's 100% and the normal 95%. Soybean conditions declined slightly to 54% good or excellent.
Nearly all spring wheat has ripened. Spring wheat harvest reached 65% complete, nearly catching up to the normal harvesting pace of 66%. Spring wheat conditions rated 2% very poor, 5% poor, 27% fair, 56% good and 10% excellent. The oat harvest advanced 18 percentage points to 80% complete, 5 points behind normal. Dry conditions resulted in declining crop conditions, with the exception of a marginal improvement in sunflower condition.
Less than one-third of Minnesota's pastures were rated good to excellent. Harvest of third cutting alfalfa hay advanced 29 points to 45% complete.