ST. PAUL, Minn. — The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Minnesota Field Office has released the 2021 Minnesota Crop Progress Review. The review looks at corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, hay, barley, dry edible beans, sugarbeets and sunflowers.
April snow showers did little to deter small grains and row crop planting in 2021. Small grains planting progressed ahead of the normal despite an average of just 3.2 days suitable for fieldwork a week during April. Row crop planting was also ahead of normal with 60 percent of the corn acres and 23 percent of the soybean acres planted by May 2. Small grain emergence was consistently ahead of last year and the average. Row crop emergence was also ahead of average.
The week ending May 9 saw the best pasture and range conditions of the season with 52 percent rated good to excellent. Dry weather led to deteriorating pasture and range conditions with a low of 2 percent rated good to excellent on August 22. Topsoil moisture reached drought conditions in late spring and in mid-August rated 84 percent short to very short. Late summer and fall rains helped moisture levels improve to 87 percent adequate to surplus by the end of November.
Small grain harvest began with oats starting in early July. Dry conditions allowed for rapid harvest progress through August. All small grains were harvested by early September. Weather conditions throughout September and October allowed farmers an average of 5.0 days suitable for fieldwork during those months.
Soybean and corn for grain harvest began in mid -September, Soybean harvest advanced quickly and was virtually complete by the end of October. Corn for grain harvest was nearly complete by mid-November. Warm temperatures slowed sugarbeet harvest but cooler temperatures in mid-October meant over 75 percent of the crop was harvested between October 11 and October 31. Weather conditions continued to allow fall tillage through the month of November.
Corn planting started in mid-April and progressed rapidly to 60 percent planted by May 2, three days behind the previous year, but ten days ahead of the 5-year average. Planting was virtually complete on May 31. Crop emergence began in late April and reached 98 percent complete by June 13.
The corn crop began silking as June came to a close. Ninety-seven percent of the crop was dented or beyond by September 26, four days ahead of normal. Corn harvested for silage got off to an early start with 25 percent harvested by August 29. Warm, dry conditions boosted early maturity with 18 percent of the crop mature by September 5, compared to 20 percent last year and the 8 percent average.
Conditions also allowed an early start on corn for grain harvest with 10 percent complete by September 26. This was five days ahead of last year and ten days ahead of average. Harvest neared completion with 97 percent complete by November 14. The first corn condition rating of the season as of May 30 showed 76 percent good to excellent. Conditions declined steadily to a season low of 34 percent good to excellent the week ending August 22. The last condition rating of the season on October 17 showed 37 percent good to excellent.
Soybean planting began in late April with 2 percent complete by April 25, three days behind last year but one day ahead of the 5-year average. Planting was 99 percent complete by May 30, just over one week ahead of last year and almost three weeks ahead of normal. Soybean emergence was nearly complete by mid-June with 97 percent of the crop emerged by June 13.
Warm, dry weather boosted crop development throughout the season. Plants began blooming shortly after emergence with 38 percent blooming by July 4, equal to last year but seven days ahead of normal. Ninety-one percent of soybeans were setting pods by mid-August. By August 22, 3 percent of soybeans were dropping leaves.
Soybean harvest started in mid-September with 30 percent harvested by September 26, one day ahead of last year and one week ahead of the average. By October 31 farmers had harvested 98 percent of their soybean acreage, slightly behind last year but twelve days ahead of normal. Condition ratings for the season started in May 30 with 76 percent rated good to excellent but dry weather reduced good to excellent ratings to a low of 29 percent for the week ending August 15. The final crop condition rating of the year was 36 percent good to excellent for the week ending October 10.
Spring Wheat seeding began in early April with 19 percent planted by April 25, one week ahead of last year and four days ahead of the 5-year average. Planting progress continued well ahead of both last year and normal with 97 percent complete by May 9. Emergence started slowly but quickly outpaced normal and continued ahead of the average for the remainder of the stage.
Almost two-thirds of the crop was heading or beyond by June 20, eleven days ahead of normal. Spring wheat acreage started turning color in late June. Almost all of the acreage had turned color by July 25. Harvest began in mid-July. Forty-four percent of the spring wheat acreage was harvested during the week ending August 8, advancing to 76 percent harvested. Harvest was nearly complete on August 22, over three weeks ahead of last year and average.
Spring wheat condition started the season at 78 percent good to excellent, which is the lowest first rating since 2016 with 70 percent good to excellent. Condition ratings declined through the next two months. The lowest rating of the year was 9 percent good to excellent as of July 25 due to increased drought conditions. Conditions improved slightly and ended the season at 16 percent good to excellent for the week ending August 8.
Oat seeding began in late March, ahead of both last year and the five-year average. Emergence also advanced ahead of both last year and the average with 52 percent emerged by May 9. Emergence remained ahead of normal through June 6 when the crop was almost fully emerged.
The oat crop started to head in late May, behind both last year and the average, but surged ahead of normal by June 20 with 51 percent headed. Heading was nearly complete by mid-July. Oats began turning color during the second half of June. Ninety-nine percent of the acreage had turned color by August 1. Harvest for grain began the second week of July, slightly ahead of last year and the average. By August 29, harvest was 97 percent complete, one week ahead of last year and eleven days ahead of average.
Oat condition began the season with a rating of 65 percent good to excellent on May 9. Conditions generally deteriorated for the remainder of the growing season and ultimately ended the season with 24 percent good to excellent for the week ending August 1; the lowest ending good to excellent percentage for oats since 1995.
The first cutting of alfalfa hay started in mid–May. First cutting progress moved ahead of both last year and the average pace on June 6 with 59 percent complete. First cutting progress reached 97 percent harvested by June 27. The second cutting of alfalfa hay was underway by June 20. Although second cutting progress moved ahead of normal by July 4, it fell behind by August 1 and remained behind until the cutting was complete.
The first all hay condition rating of the year was 63 percent good to excellent on May 9. Hot, dry weather stunted re-growth for much of the season. The final all hay condition rated 18 percent good to excellent for the week ending July 11, the lowest ending good to excellent percentage for alfalfa hay since 1989.
Barley seeding began in early April, ahead of both last year and the 5-year average. Substantial progress was made during the week of April 26 to May 2 when over half of the total acres were planted, advancing to 63 percent complete. Planting was nearly complete by the May 23 at 95 percent. Emergence started ahead of last year and quickly advanced to 89 percent complete by May 30.
Heading began in early June. Warm, dry conditions boosted development ahead of normal by mid-June and the stage neared completion at 97 percent headed on July 11, four days ahead of the average. Harvest got underway near the end of July with 31 percent complete by August 1. Harvest was complete on August 29, over three weeks earlier than the previous year.
Barley condition rated 79 percent good to excellent to begin the season on May 16. Dry weather caused conditions to deteriorate through the rest of the season, ultimately ending at 19 percent good to excellent for the week ending August 8.
Dry edible bean planting was underway by the end April. Planting progress quickly moved past last year and the average. By June 6 planting was 95 percent complete, five days ahead of normal. Emergence began ahead of last year and remained ahead of the previous year until June 20 when the 96 percent emerged fell slightly behind the previous year.
Almost all the dry edible bean crop was blooming by early August and plants setting pods began less than a week into July. By the end of August, 58 percent of the crop was dropping leaves or beyond. Harvest began ahead of last year and normal and by September 26 nearly three quarters of the crop was harvested. Harvest was nearly complete by October 17 with 97 percent harvested.
Crop condition ratings began on June 13 with 63 percent rated good to excellent but declined through the season. The final crop condition on September 19 was 21 percent good to excellent.
Sugarbeet planting started in mid-April, ahead of last year but behind the 5-year average. About half of the crop was planted during week ending May 2 to reach 79 percent, 18 days ahead of last year and 12 days ahead of normal. Progress remained ahead of last year and average until planting was complete.
Harvest got under way in late August but conditions slowed progress with just 14 percent complete on October 3, almost two weeks behind last year and one week behind the average. Harvest remained behind last year but caught up to and surpassed the 5-year average with 93 percent harvested by October 31. Harvest was complete on November 7, over one week ahead of normal.
The first sugarbeet condition rating of the year on June 13 was 69 percent good to excellent. Good to excellent condition ratings remained steady through the season, hovering around the low-70s, with the lowest rating on August 1 at 68 percent good to excellent. The final rating of the year was 74 percent good to excellent on October 24.
Sunflower planting started by early May, ahead of last year but near normal. Planting progress moved well ahead of both last year and normal by mid-May but slowed as May came to a close and June began. Planting was 99 percent complete on June 20.
Sunflower harvest got underway during the week ending September 26, behind both last year and normal. Ninety-six percent of sunflowers had been harvested by November 7, over one week behind last year, but almost three weeks ahead of the 5-year average.
The first condition rating of the year was 77 percent good to excellent for the week ending June 13. Conditions declined to a low of 29 percent good to excellent for the week ending August 15, but rebounded to a final rating of 44 percent good to excellent on October 24.
— USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service