ST. PAUL (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Minnesota farmers are getting off to a slow start because of the persistent winter.

It its first weekly crops and weather report of the year, the USDA's Minnesota field office says the cold start to April and continuing dry conditions have limited field work compared with last year. Only 0.2 days were suitable for fieldwork last week, and producers don't expect full-scale fieldwork to begin until about April 26th, about two weeks later than last year and five days behind the five-year average.

As the drought persists, topsoil moisture supplies are rated 10 percent very short, 30 percent short, 47 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture is rated 28 percent very short, 46 percent short, 23 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus.