Some farmers have already begun planting in central and southern Minnesota, thanks to the mild, dry winter and record warmth in March. In its first weekly crop-weather report for Minnesota this season, the USDA says farmers expect full-scale fieldwork to begin on April 12th. That’s seven days ahead of average. Spring wheat was 3% planted as of Sunday, oats were 18% planted and barley was 6% planted. That compares with zero percent for those crops last year and for the 5-year average. Three-percent of land was prepared for corn and 1% was prepared for soybeans. Statewide average temperatures were 10 degrees above normal last week. Rain helped replenish some soil moisture, but the southern third of Minnesota continues to undergo a severe drought.