Corn and soybeans across the state are doing better than usual so far this year, according to a crop progress report that federal officials released Monday.
Minnesota's corn condition rated 80 percent as good or excellent, up three percentage points from the previous week and nine points better than a year ago at this time.
And with almost the entire soybean crop emerged, soybean condition rated 76 percent as good or excellent, 11 points better than in mid-June of 2014.
Dan Lofthus, Minnesota state statistician for the National Agricultural Statistics Service, attributed the healthy crops in part to moderate spring weather.
"Pretty much all year so far, we've been a little early in terms of our progress," he said. "Planting was early and crop development is a little further ahead this year than previous years."
Also playing a role was timely rain, he said. The report noted that topsoil moisture supplies were 86 percent adequate, 12 percent surplus and only 2 percent short across the state. Subsoil moisture was 89 percent adequate.
Those numbers were current as of Sunday, Lofthus said, and do not include the strong weather system and rains that shot across the state on Monday.
The weekly estimates are reported by agricultural professionals in each county who fill out surveys.
Also ranking high in quality were potato plants, at 85 percent good to excellent, sugarbeets and oats, each at 81 percent good to excellent, and spring wheat, 76 percent good to excellent.
Some of the busier farmers lately have been those who grow hay. The report estimated that more than 20 percent of the first cutting of alfalfa hay was harvested last week alone, well ahead of the five-year average. So far about 75 percent of the first alfalfa hay crop has been cut, about 11 days ahead of last year, Lofthus said.
"Alfalfa quality is real important to the dairy industry and milk production, so that's why we keep a close eye on how cuttings are going," he said.
Some of the main field activities last week included spraying, bailing hay, and replanting some areas of drowned out soybean acres, Lofthus said.
A national acreage report next week on June 30 will include this year's first estimate of actual plantings for all the major commodities in each state.