Wheat stripe mosaic virus appearing in barley

Wheat streak mosaic virus is apparent on these wheat plants in the lighter colored leaves.

Montana was mostly hot and dry this week, with high winds and a few scattered thunderstorms toward the end of the week, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. High temperatures for the week ranged from the lower 80s to the lower 100s and low temperatures ranged from the upper 20s to the lower 50s. Precipitation was hit or miss this week and varied widely in amount where it did fall with the highest amount recorded coming from Wolf Point at 1.52 inches of moisture. Soil moisture conditions currently remain ahead of last year, with 71 percent of topsoil rated adequate to surplus, and 66 percent of subsoil rated adequate to surplus compared with 52 percent and 60 percent last year, respectively. Both topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions remain slightly below the five-year average for this time. Potatoes are 95 percent emerged, which is ahead of last year’s 91 percent and the five-year average of 88 percent. Pulse crops and oilseeds continue blooming across the state, and lentils are 72 percent in-bloom, which is well ahead of last year’s 51 percent and the five-year average of 30 percent. Durum wheat has begun heading and is slightly behind last year at this time, with 8 percent headed compared with 10 percent headed last year. Wheat stripe mosaic virus, which reporters had noted appearing in winter wheat fields previously, has begun to severely damage yield potential in some spring wheat fields and has appeared in some barley fields. Winter wheat condition is rated 64 percent good to excellent, which is ahead of last year’s 55 percent and the five-year average of 61 percent. Conditions have been good for hay production so far this season, with reporters noting progress is a week to three weeks ahead of normal thanks to warm, dry days. Pasture and range conditions were unchanged from the previous week, with 46 percent rated good to excellent, which was still higher than last year’s 38 percent, but below the five year average of 54 percent.

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