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Rain helps new crops in North Dakota but more is needed; spring wheat planting one-fifth done

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FARGO, North Dakota — Rain over the past week has helped newly seeded crops in North Dakota, but farmers say more moisture is needed to aid germination and reduce wind erosion.

The Agriculture Department says in its weekly crop progress report that more than one-fifth of the state's staple spring wheat crop is in the ground, well ahead of the average pace. Seeding of all other small grains crops except durum also is ahead of the average.

The planting of sugar beets is about halfway complete, well ahead of the average pace. About 2 percent of potatoes are seeded, slightly behind average.

Topsoil moisture supplies in North Dakota are rated 63 percent adequate to surplus. Subsoil moisture is 74 percent in those categories.

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