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Capital Journal: Wrapper

Jul 19, 9:07 AM EDT

South Dakota oat, winter wheat harvests ahead of average

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- The oat and winter wheat harvests are ahead of the average pace in South Dakota, where dry conditions are becoming a concern for pastures and soil moisture.

The Agriculture Department says in its weekly crop report that more than one-third of the oats and more than half of the winter wheat is in the bin.

About two-thirds of both crops are rated in good-to-excellent condition, but dry conditions are a concern for ranchers.

Pasture and range conditions statewide are rated 47 percent good to excellent. Stock water supplies are 74 percent adequate to surplus. Both percentages have declined in recent weeks.

Soil moisture also is being affected. Topsoil moisture statewide is rated 43 percent short or very short, and 42 percent of subsoil moisture is in those two categories.

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