With such a beautiful Spring, apple growers are preparing for a fruitful harvest. Last year, the late frost killed blossoms, and the drought that followed didn't help. However, this year orchards are looking to bounce back.
Minnesota farmers continue to make progress on the corn and soybean harvests. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Monday that the soybean harvest advanced to 16 percent complete as of Sunday, compared with 1 percent for the five-year average. The corn harvest advanced to 12 percent, compared with a 1 percent average.
Dry conditions have Minnesota officials urging farmers to take precautions to avoid causing fires as they harvest their crops. The Department of Natural Resources points out that fires sparked by equipment in dry fields can spread rapidly and cause costly losses in crops and machinery.
Sweltering temps and a lack of rain are leaving many states' corn crops withering away. Farms in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Missouri are part of nine states where up to half of the corn fields are rated as poor or very poor.
Minnesota farmers are nearly finished with the corn and sunflower harvests, thanks to continued dry weather. According to the weekly U.S. Department of Agriculture crop-weather report for Minnesota, corn was 93 percent harvested as of Sunday. That compares with 86 percent last year and a five-year average of 60 percent.
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