MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Cornfields and pastures are drying out in parts of central and eastern Minnesota, and some cattle producers are starting to thin out their herds to cut costs.

Some areas haven't seen significant rain in weeks. Dan Martens, a University of Minnesota Extension educator, says corn and soybeans are wilting and hay field and pasture growth has halted.

Another extension educator, Troy Salzer in Carlton County, says many beef cattle producers there have started feeding expensive hay or other forage to their livestock. Salzer says he knows of several cow-calf producers who have already started marketing yearlings.

The abnormally dry swath extends in an arc from southwest Minnesota to eastern Minnesota north of the Twin Cities. Elsewhere, Minnesota farmers expect their second-largest corn crop in state history.