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Spring planting is progressing rapidly as area is drying out

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By Reed Anfinson

Despite the deep snowpack that buried the area this past winter, and despite recent rains, nearly all of Swift County is in an abnormally dry area, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Only the far eastern side of the county is excluded.

All of Stevens, Chippewa, Big Stone, Lac qui Parle, and Grant counties are in the abnormally dry area, the first stage of a drought. Parts of far southwestern Minnesota are now in a moderate drought, the second of five steps in drought severity.

The mostly dry and warm weather of the past week has allowed farmers to make considerable progress with spring planting.

Corn planting reached 61% complete, eight days ahead of last year and one day ahead of the five-year average, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.  Corn emergence reached 15%.

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