Dry weather helps along harvest workby Mark Steil, Minnesota Public Radio
WORTHINGTON, Minn. — Progress on the Minnesota harvest continues well ahead of normal, aided by dry weather.
Crop yields have been better than expected in south central Minnesota, said consultant Bruce Nowlin.
Farmers have already picked 12 percent of their corn and 16 percent of their soybeans. Normal progress for both crops at this time of the year is just 1 percent. The sugar beet harvest is also well underway at 12 percent complete, compared to an average of 6 percent.
"People started really in earnest on corn late last week. Some guys are a third done by now," Nowlin said. "But corn yields have been 15 to 20 bushels better than expected — averaging 180 to 190. So, that's really good for a year when we've had this much dry weather."
The effect of the ongoing drought shows up in soil moisture conditions across Minnesota. Three-quarters of the state's top soil is rated short to very short of moisture. Some of the driest areas are in southern Minnesota, where extreme drought conditions exist in some locations. Rainfall in North Mankato is nearly eight inches below normal since April 1.