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USDA: Winter wheat acres down in most states

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Winter wheat seedings in most states are down, in large part because of wet fall weather and a late row crop harvest.

The U.S. Agriculture Department says South Dakota farmers planted 1.25 million acres last fall, down 26 percent from the previous year. In North Dakota, where winter wheat is a minor crop, seedings totaled 340,000 acres, down from 580,000 acres in 2008.

Winter wheat is seeded in the fall and harvested the following year. In South Dakota, the winter wheat acres are the lowest since 1.2 million acres were planted in 1980.

South Dakota Wheat Commissioner Laird Larson says fields that couldn’t be seeded to winter wheat last fall likely will be seeded to other crops such as corn, soybeans or spring wheat this spring.