CROOKSTON -- It’s late, but Minnesota farmers are making progress in this year’s spring wheat harvest.

The latest crop progress report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that 44% of the state’s spring wheat has been harvested, far behind the five-year average of 78%.

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University of Minnesota Extension Agronomist Jochum Wiersma says, despite the late spring, the crop is exceeding expectations.

The reports that are coming in are a pleasant surprise. Initial reports on the earliest planted stuff show there's a lot of 80-bushel yields and in some cases even higher. The quality in general is really good. The same thing was also true for the spring wheat and winter wheat that was harvested in southern Minnesota. So, it's a nice crop.

Wiersma says a late spring usually brings an added risk of crop diseases, but the quality of this harvest has been good.

We are hearing some reports of a little bit higher incidence of ergot. It's a little harder to manage because the ergot bodies are pretty much the same size as the kernels and difficult to clean out. The best recommendation is to leave the edges of the fields standing. Because eventually, those ergot bodies will drop to the ground.

The crop progress report finds that 66% of the state’s soybean crop and 65% of the corn are in good to excellent condition.

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