Seeding of small grains in South Dakota ahead of average pace but lack of moisture is an issue

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SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota — Seeding of small grains crops in South Dakota remains ahead of last year's pace and the long-term average.

The Agriculture Department says in its weekly crop progress report that 44 percent of the spring wheat, 43 percent of the oats and 14 percent of the barley crop is in the ground. Some of the oat crop has already begun to emerge.

The dry weather that's helping farmers get in the fields isn't helping with soil moisture. Topsoil moisture statewide is rated 69 percent short or very short, compared with 16 percent last year at the same time. Subsoil moisture is 65 percent short or very short, also compared to 16 percent a year ago.

Stock water supplies in South Dakota are rated 37 percent short or very short.

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