Minnesota's growing season is starting to greening up

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Minnesota farmers finally got 70 percent of this year’s corn crop in the ground last week, beating this week’s rain and high gas prices, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A welcome stretch of favorable weather helped farmers catch up after lingering cold and wet conditions caused a late start.

The USDA's report notes progress still remains behind last year’s 97 percent and the normal planting pace of 84 percent.

"It's great to see the progress from last week," Jeff Coulter, extension corn specialist at the University of Minnesota, told the Pioneer Press. "I think the corn planted last week is going to have excellent yield. It was planted in warm conditions, good for germination, and then got some rain on it."

Drought concerns have also eased across the state with only 11 percent of Minnesota's topsoil considered too dry.

However, heavy rain across much of Minnesota earlier this week is expected to delay some fieldwork that could affect yields.

Minnesota farmers intend to plant a record 9 million acres of corn this spring -- the largest crop in state history.

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