Agriculture Department says small grains planting going well in North Dakota but rain needed


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FARGO, North Dakota — Planting of most small grains crops remains well ahead of the average pace in North Dakota, but many farmers are seeding into dry soils.

The Agriculture Department says in its weekly crop progress report that the western part of the state got up to half an inch of rain over the past week. However, topsoil moisture supplies statewide are rated 33 percent short or very short, and many farmers are hoping for rain to help seed germination.

The state's staple spring wheat crop is 41 percent planted, well ahead of the average pace of 18 percent.

Sugar beets are 82 percent planted, also well ahead of the average pace. Planting of potatoes, corn and soybeans is just getting underway, about equal to the average.

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