North Dakota's spring wheat planting 17% complete, ahead of five-year average of 1%, driven by mild weather, USDA says

FARGO, North Dakota , April 10, 2012 () – Spring planting in North Dakota remains well ahead of the average pace after another week of mild weather.

The Agriculture Department says in its weekly crop and weather report that 17 percent of the state's staple spring wheat crop is in the ground, compared with the average over the past five years of 1 percent.

The average starting date for fieldwork was April 3 — the earliest since record-keeping began in the mid-1970s.

Calving and lambing also are progressing in North Dakota, with calving 60 percent complete and lambing 76 percent done.

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