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Cold, wet weather slows fieldwork in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Recent cold, wet weather has slowed fieldwork in Nebraska as farmers get ready to plant crops and ranchers tend to their cattle.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday that soil moisture levels improved in eastern Nebraska, but most of the western counties received less than half an inch of moisture last week.

About 41 percent of the topsoil and 90 percent of the subsoil in the state rated short or very short on moisture.

The state's wheat crop remains in bad shape with only 11 percent rating in either good or excellent shape.

About 76 percent of the cattle in the state rated in good or excellent condition. But 71 percent of the hay and forage supplies rated short or very short.