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Despite rain, one-third of state still in drought

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The drought is over in the eastern half the state, but Thursday's update from the U.S. Drought Monitor indicates parts of western Minnesota are still struggling with some level of drought.

Despite what has seemed like a soggy spring, about 34 percent of Minnesota is abnormally dry or worse, the Associated Press reports. Almost 13 percent of the state is still officially in a moderate or severe drought.

A pocket of moderate to severe drought persists in parts of Renville and Redwood counties in southwestern Minnesota, while a moderate drought area is centered in Beltrami County in northwestern Minnesota, the AP notes.

The Drought Monitor readings consider soil moisture and stream and lake levels as well as rainfall.

In other pockets of the state, farmers have struggled to get their fields seeded because of too much rain. Roughly 3 million acres of Minnesota crops aren't in the ground, and for some it's already too late with the summer solstice arriving next week, the Pioneer Press reported this week.

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Nearly the entire state was in a moderate to severe drought, but three months later that's down to about 10 percent. A climatologist told the Associated Press rain has recharged dry soils, but above-average precipitation needs to continue for Minnesota to fully catch up.