With favorable weather most of last week, Minnesota farmers have planted nearly half their corn as the pace of spring planting continues ahead of normal.
The U.S. Agriculture Department surveys show that 48 percent of the corn crop is in the ground. The normal progress for this time of the year is 31 percent. The weekly report also shows that spring wheat planting is 93 percent complete — average for late April is just 28 percent. Soybean planting is just getting started, at 4 percent completion.
Despite below normal precipitation last week, the rain that did fall helped improve soil moisture conditions. The USDA says about three-quarters of the state's topsoil now has adequate moisture, compared to about two-thirds of the fields a week earlier.