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Report: Wet weather puts fall harvest behind schedule

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The latest U.S. Agriculture Department crop progress report shows wet weather virtually halted the fall harvest in Minnesota over the last week. But better harvest weather is ahead this week.   

The report states Minnesota's soybean harvest is nine days behind the average pace over the last five years. Just over a third of the crop has been gathered, about 70 percent is normal for this time of year.   

The sugar beet harvest is a week behind schedule, but corn is only a day behind. The persistent fall rains have left 98 percent of the state's topsoil with adequate or surplus moisture.   

But the weather forecast for next week looks favorable for a rapid harvest pace. New Ulm crop consultant Steve Commerford says with the mainly dry weather forecast for the next week, things will change quickly.

  "With the sunshine, certainly by Wednesday, guys will be getting in on the bean fields and going strong," said Commerford. "I suspect that three or four days of nice weather and most of the beans in this area will be finished up."  

Little or no rain is forecast across the state's main crop areas over the coming week.