Slower pace for livestock and winter wheat

Montana had a week of mostly warm days and cool nights with scattered precipitation, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Daytime high temperatures for the week ranged from the lower 50s to 85 degrees in Scobey. Overnight lows were from the lower 20s to the upper 30s with a statewide low of 23 degrees in Heart Butte. West Yellowstone recorded the highest amount of precipitation for the week with 2.09 inches of moisture. Most other reporting stations reported receiving 0.00 to 1.63 inches of moisture.

Producers harvesting corn for grain remain ahead of normal with 67 percent complete compared with a five-year average of 51 percent harvested.

Winter wheat seeding slowly continues due to wet fields with 91 percent complete, which is behind both last year and the five-year average. Winter wheat emergence is now 82 percent, behind last year’s 89 percent but ahead of the five-year average of 76 percent. Winter wheat condition is currently rated 75 percent good to excellent compared with 73 percent last year and 53 percent for the five-year average.

Potato harvest continues behind last year and the five-year average, with 73 percent harvested compared with 81 percent last year and the five-year average of 88 percent harvested.

Sugarbeet harvest continued in muddy fields and progress is behind both last year’s rate and the five-year average, with 61 percent complete so far.

Pasture and rangeland conditions improved due to mild conditions, and is rated 34 percent good to excellent, which was better than last year’s 19 percent and the five-year average of 33 percent.

Livestock producers continue to move stock off summer pastures at a slower pace than normal, with 66 percent of cattle and calves moved and 82 percent of sheep and lambs moved. Livestock receiving supplemental feed remains well below last year, with 14 percent of cattle and calves and 15 percent of sheep and lambs being fed.

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