ST. PAUL (AP) -- Warm, dry weather across most of the state allowed soybean producers to get off to a fast start on this year's harvest, according to the Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service.
In its weekly crop and weather report, the service reported that statewide temperatures for the week averaged 3.8 degrees above normal. Statewide topsoil moisture conditions as of Sept. 20 were rated 3 percent very short, 13 percent short, 77 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus.
The topsoil is getting too dry in some areas due to lack of rain, especially in large parts of western and southwestern Minnesota. Several smaller areas of southern Minnesota are also very dry.
Soybean moisture has fallen to levels as low as 8 to 10 percent in some fields, but green stems are making combining more difficult.
Frost is in the forecast for portions of the state this week. In the major growing areas, frost would now be helpful for many who have soybeans or corn ready to harvest because it helps dry the plants.
Meanwhile, still-maturing corn in some northern counties has benefited from more warm days before the first frosts.
An estimated 9 percent of soybean acreage has been harvested as of Sunday, compared with only 1 percent for the same date a year ago; the 5- year average for this date is 11 percent.
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