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Associated Press, Published March 31 2010

North Dakota farmers to get in fields two weeks earlier than last year

The Agriculture Department says North Dakota’s average starting date for spring field work is expected to be April 17, two weeks ahead of last year.

An earlier snowmelt is a big reason. Snow cover statewide as of Sunday was 0.6 inches, compared to 8.1 inches last year at the same time.

The department says in its latest crop-weather report North Dakota calving is 46 percent complete and lambing is 30 percent done. Cattle, calf, sheep and lamb conditions are rated mostly good to excellent.

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