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Minn. crops make gains in catchup game as weather moderates

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A dry week with above-average temperatures provided ideal conditions for Minnesota farmers.

The Associated Press has the latest weekly report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It finds that while crop development is still behind the normal pace because of the cold, wet spring, crops have made progress in catching up.

The Pioneer Press reports that 85 percent of state farmers report adequate topsoil moisture and 86 percent say they've got adequate subsoil moisture Those are the best percentages in more than two years.

Statewide, the USDA reports that an average of 6.1 days in the last week were suitable for fieldwork, the most of any during this season. Temperatures were 2.9 degrees above normal while rainfall was 0.67 inches below normal.

The average corn stalk was 30 inches tall by Sunday. That's up from 17 inches the previous week, but still below the five-year average of 46 inches.

The average soybean plant height was 8 inches tall, 4 inches shorter than normal. A few fields started blooming last week, although most are not yet at that stage.

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