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Weather helps rapid pace of SD row crop harvest

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Agriculture officials say ideal weather conditions in South Dakota have pushed the row crop harvest far ahead of last year's pace and the five-year average.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in its weekly crop report that 55 percent of corn for grain has been harvested, ahead of the five-year average and last year's mark of 6 percent. About 96 percent of corn was in the mature stage.

Seventy-nine percent of soybeans had been harvested, ahead of the five-year average of 16 percent. Sunflowers were 14 percent harvested, compared to the five-year average of 1 percent.

The report says winter wheat was 50 percent planted.

Range and pasture conditions were rated 44 percent very poor, 34 percent poor, 19 percent fair and 3 percent good.