Harvest stalled statewide due to widespread moisture

A cool, wet system moved slowly through Montana before warmer temperatures began to return over the weekend, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Daytime high temperatures for the week ranged from the mid 60s to 83 degrees in Biddle. Overnight lows ranged from the mid 20s to the upper 40s with a statewide low of 26 degrees in Malta. Busby received the highest amount of precipitation for the week with 3.23 inches of moisture and all other reporting stations reported receiving moisture from the system that ranged from 0.07 to 2.98 inches of moisture.

The widespread moisture was welcome but did stall harvest across the state and little progress was made this week as a result. Despite this, producers harvesting corn for grain and silage continued progressing ahead of normal progress with 25 percent of corn for grain and 65 percent of corn silage harvested. Small grain harvest is nearly complete and ahead of normal with 97 percent of durum wheat harvested and 95 percent of spring wheat harvested.

Winter wheat seeding is well underway with 46 percent complete, and has begun to emerge, though both planting and emerging are behind the five-year average and reporters are noting producers may not seed as much winter wheat as usual this season.

Potato harvest has begun well behind last year and the five-year average, with seven percent harvested compared with 27 percent last year and the five-year average of 22 percent harvested.

Sugarbeet harvest, however, is ahead of last year and the five-year average with 15 percent complete so far.

Pasture and rangeland conditions improved slightly, with 29 percent rated good to excellent, which was better than last year’s 20 percent, but below the five-year average of 34 percent.

Livestock producers continue to move stock off summer pastures with 34 percent of cattle and calves moved and 51 percent of sheep and lambs moved.

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