U.S. Department of Agriculture
The persistent snow is delaying the beginning of fieldwork on farms across Minnesota. In its first weekly crop progress and condition report of the season for Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says last week’s heavy snow is one reason why no days were rated suitable for fieldwork last week. Planting of some early crops such as oats usually begins around now.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will spend millions of dollars to help farmers and ranchers improve pastures in five Midwestern states to provide food for the nation’s struggling honeybees under a program to be announced Tuesday.
The value of U.S. crops fell 9.8 percent last year as prices declined for major crops, including corn and soybeans, from 2012′s record high levels, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its annual estimate.
University of Minnesota researchers have confirmed a new invasive fruit fly in Minnesota. A single adult female known as the African fig fly was discovered in a bait trap in September. The trap was located in Hastings and was being used for annual monitoring of another invasive fruit fly, the spotted wing Drosophila. The university says the new fly specimen was officially identified this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Minnesota farmers have nearly finished their corn harvest despite cold temperatures and snow over the past week.
New estimates show the cold, wet spring and a summer drought failed to put a big dent in Minnesota’s corn harvest. The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects Minnesota’s corn production this year at 1.33 billion bushels. That’s down just 3 percent from last year’s record harvest.
Soybean maturity has rapidly advanced in Minnesota in the last week, but soybean maturity still lags behind the normal pace.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants to make it safer for young people working in farming. The USDA has awarded a grant to provide safety training for more than 2 million young people involved in agricultural production.
Minnesota’s topsoil moisture has improved, thanks to recent rain.
Hot, dry weather is putting stress on pastures across Minnesota.
A long stretch of warm, dry weather last week helped Minnesota’s crops catch up on growing.
Minnesota’s corn crop has grown slower than the average this year, but it looks like the crop will be knee-high by the Fourth of July. The weekly crop report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says corn statewide grew an average of seven inches last week, and is currently about 17 inches tall.
Top agriculture officials from 12 Midwestern states are gathering in North Dakota. The Midwestern Association of State Departments of Agriculture is holding its annual conference through early Monday in the Badlands town of Medora.
In its weekly crops and weather report for Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday that a statewide average of 3.6 days were suitable for fieldwork last week, a slight improvement from recent weeks.
Another week of cold, wet weather has bogged down field work in parts of Minnesota.