Livestock producers continue to move off summer pastures

This week was mild with scattered precipitation across Montana, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Daytime high temperatures for the week ranged from the upper 40s to 73 degrees in Biddle. Overnight lows were from the mid-teens to the mid 30s, with a statewide low of 15 degrees in Wisdom.

Superior recorded the highest amount of precipitation for the week, with 1.98 inches of moisture. Most other reporting stations reported receiving measurable precipitation, but accumulation varied widely, from 0.01 to 1.85 inches of moisture. Muddy fields from previous weeks rain and snow storms slowed harvest progress across the state.

Producers harvesting corn for grain remain ahead of normal, with 54 percent complete compared with a five-year average of 37 percent harvested, but corn for silage is slightly behind average, with 95 percent harvested compared with a five-year average of 97 percent completed.

Winter wheat seeding continues with 89 percent complete, which is well behind last year and the five-year average. Winter wheat is now 78 percent emerged, behind last year but ahead of the five-year average, and is currently rated 71 percent good to excellent condition, compared with 75 percent last year.

Potato harvest continues behind last year and the five-year average, with 63 percent harvested compared with 77 percent last year and the five-year average of 80 percent harvested.

Sugarbeet harvest continued in muddy fields, and progress is behind both last year’s rate and the five-year average, with 44 percent complete so far.

Pasture and rangeland conditions maintained 31 percent rated good to excellent, which was better than last year’s 19 percent, but still below the five-year average of 33 percent.

Livestock producers continue to move stock off summer pastures, with 60 percent of cattle and calves moved and 79 percent of sheep and lambs moved. Livestock receiving supplemental feed remains well below last year, with 11 percent of cattle and calves and 12 percent of sheep and lambs being fed.

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