Well-timed storms prevent too-dry conditions

The week began hot and dry, but ended cool and wet for much of the state with locally heavy precipitation and a tornado in southwestern Montana, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. 

High temperatures for the week ranged from the mid 70s to the lower 100s, and low temperatures ranged from the mid 20s to the lower 50s. Measurable precipitation was recorded at all reporting stations this week, but varied widely in amounts with the highest recorded coming from Plevna at 3.12 inches of moisture. This series of storms comes at a very good time, as reporters had been noting conditions were drying out fast all over the state. However, severe hail damage occurred in some locations. 

Soil moisture conditions currently remain above last year, thanks to this weekend’s precipitation with 68 percent of topsoil rated adequate to surplus and 63 percent of subsoil rated adequate to surplus compared with 48 percent and 53 percent last year, respectively. 

Pulse crop harvest is ahead of last year, with dry peas five percent harvested and lentils two percent complete. Winter wheat is turning ahead of the five-year average and at the same rate as last year, with 88 percent turned. Winter wheat condition is rated 62 percent good to excellent which is ahead of last year’s 54 percent and right at the five-year average of 62 percent. 

Pasture and range conditions declined from the previous week, with 39 percent rated good to excellent which was still higher than last year’s 32 percent, but below the five-year average of 48 percent.



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