Crops far from mature as weather cools

Crops far from mature as weather cools Click to Enlarge Photo:

Sep 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) The arrival of frost in northeastern Minnesota this week spared the state's prime farming regions, which is fortunate because its major crops are far from mature.

Just 5 percent of the state's corn crop has reached maturity, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday, and just 21 percent of the soybeans have hit the leaf-dropping stage.

An early frost is a greater-than-usual worry because Minnesota farmers got such a late start to the growing season, which started out cold and wet.

Seth Naeve, a University of Minnesota soybean specialist, says the state ended up with enough heat, but not enough rain. He thinks last weekend's rains will help, but he says soybean yields are still likely to fall below what farmers had hoped.

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