FARGO, N.D. - For the week ending September 17th much needed precipitation was received over much of the state, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Moisture amounts ranged from over an inch in the western part of the State to a quarter of an inch in the east. The moisture halted or delayed most harvest activities, but was welcomed by producers.
Temperatures averaged two degrees below normal in the western part of the state, but two to six degrees above normal in the east.
There were 5.0 days suitable for fieldwork.
Topsoil moisture supplies rated 13 percent very short, 31 short, 55 adequate, and 1 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 18 percent very short, 36 short, 45 adequate, and 1 surplus.
Field Crops Report
Corn condition rated 5 percent very poor, 11 poor, 33 fair, 45 good, and 6 excellent. Corn dough was 98 percent, near 100 last year, and equal to the five-year average. Dented was 77 percent, behind 86 last year and 83 average. Mature was 17 percent, well behind 38 last year, and behind 32 average.
Soybean condition rated 5 percent very poor, 12 poor, 35 fair, 44 good, and 4 excellent. Soybeans dropping leaves was 73 percent, near 71 last year and 72 average. Harvested was 2 percent, equal to last year, but behind 8 average.
Winter wheat planted was 33 percent, near 32 last year. Emerged was 2 percent.
Spring wheat harvested was 97 percent, near 98 last year, but ahead of 91 average.
Oats harvested was 96 percent, near 100 last year and 95 average.
Sunflowers condition rated 8 percent very poor, 13 poor, 44 fair, 34 good, and 1 excellent. Sunflower ray flowers dried was 93 percent, near 89 last year, and ahead of 88 average. Bracts turning yellow was 77 percent, near 73 last year, and ahead of 59 average. Bracts turning brown was 32 percent, near 31 last year.
Dry edible beans condition rated 4 percent very poor, 12 poor, 28 fair, 49 good, and 7 excellent. Dry edible beans dropping leaves was 96 percent, near 92 last year and 93 average. Harvested was 44 percent near 41 last year and 46 average.
Durum wheat harvested was 95 percent, ahead of 84 last year and 77 average.
Canola harvested was 91 percent, near 88 last year, and ahead of 85 average.
Flaxseed harvested was 87 percent, near 84 last year, and ahead of 68 average.
Potato condition rated 4 percent very poor, 13 poor, 27 fair, 51 good, and 5 excellent. Potatoes vines dry was 81 percent, near 82 last year, but ahead of 72 average. Harvested was 28 percent, ahead of 14 last year and 18 average.
Alfalfa second cutting was 97 percent complete, near 94 last year.
Sugarbeet condition rated 0 percent very poor, 1 poor, 5 fair, 27 good, and 67 excellent. Sugarbeets harvested was 9 percent, equal to last year, and near 10 average.
Lentils harvested was 94 percent, near 91 last year.
Pasture and Range Report
Pasture and range conditions rated 28 percent very poor, 30 poor, 32 fair, 10 good, and 0 excellent.
Stock water supplies rated 19 percent very short, 34 short, 46 adequate, and 1 surplus.
MANDAN, N.D. - An alarming number of hay bales being ignited by spontaneous combustion is prompting local fire departments to remind farmers and ranchers to keep a close eye on bales they are moving into storage.
"If you suspect that some hay was baled at a higher than recommended moisture content, leave them out in the field as long as possible and check their moisture and temperature before stacking," said Mandan Rural Fire Department Chief Lynn Gustin.
Approximately 300 hay bales burned near St Anthony, another 100 near New Salem and about 10 burned just west of Mandan so far this month. When hay is put into a stack or barn when it has more than about 22 percent moisture, it has an increased risk of spontaneous combustion. High moisture hay stacks can have chemical reactions that build heat.
Grain that was baled for hay due to the drought can be deceiving at baling time and needs to be checked thoroughly before stacking.
The large number of acres of millet and sudan grass hay that are being baled are very difficult to dry down properly and need to be baled in a safe moisture range to store safely. Producers should try to limit the size of their hay stacks and leave several hundred feet in between stacks if at all possible.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Florida's agriculture commissioner says the path of Hurricane Irma "could not have been more lethal" to farmers. Commissioner Adam Putnam, along with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, flew over hundreds of miles of Florida farmland Monday to view the damage.
Putnam said the citrus crop in southwest Florida is particularly devastating. The scope of the damage is more evident this week because the dropped fruit is starting to turn from green to orange, leaving piles of ruined juice oranges in the groves. Florida is the nation's largest juice producer. He added that some groves are still underwater, which will likely kill the trees. Florida's citrus industry was already battling a deadly disease when Irma hit.
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