FARGO (AP) -- The average starting date for fieldwork in North Dakota is expected to be April 26, eight days behind last year and five days behind the five-year average.

The Agriculture Department says the expected starting date ranges from April 17 in the central part of the state to May 3 in the southeast.

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The department says average snow depth statewide as of Sunday was 12.2 inches, compared with about half an inch last year at the same time.

Cold early spring temperatures and above-normal precipitation are creating challenges for ranchers as the spring calving season begins, but calf conditions still are rated 66 percent good and 9 percent excellent.