Farmers are hoping for a weather turnaround over the next few weeks as the state's largest cash crops, corn and soybeans, enter their final development stages.
Most parts of the state had adequate moisture during spring planting, but by late June, dry conditions began to hurt crops. If farmers can get some rain soon, many still have a chance of at least an average yield.
Some of that rain fell last week. Preston, in southeast Minnesota, had the most precipitation, more than three inches. Mankato and Faribault each measured about two inches of rain.
Doug Hartwig, who heads the U.S. Agriculture Department's statistics office for Minnesota, says the rain failed to slow the crop decline.
"Compared to last week, corn and beans are both down 10 percent in that good to excellent rating," says Hartwig.
Only 30 percent of the Minnesota corn crop is now rated in good or excellent condition. For soybeans, the figure is 38 percent. Those are some of the poorest crop conditions in the nation. By contrast, in Iowa about two-thirds of the the crops are rated in good or excellent shape.
Hartwig says there's one bright spot in Minnesota's crop report. Dry field conditions have helped farmers make good progress on their small grain harvest.
"Oats at 52 percent harvested, spring wheat's 12 percent, the average is 4 percent. And barley was 35 percent harvested compared to 11 percent for the average, so that's moving along fairly well," says Hartwig.
Most of the small grains are in the northwest part of Minnesota. That's also the area of the state with the best soil moisture.
About three-fourths of Minnesota has moderate or severe drought conditions. The weather forecast holds the hope of rain at midweek and again next weekend. Some areas have a 50 percent chance of rain Wednesday evening.