Hot, dry days and cooler nights
Montana experienced mostly hot, dry days and cooler nights during the week ending Sept. 9, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Montana Field Office, Sept. 10.
Creston received the largest amount of precipitation for the week with 0.86 of an inch of moisture and most other stations saw little or no precipitation. High temperatures ranged from the mid-70s to lower 90s, with the state-wide high temperature of 95 degrees recorded in Roundup. A majority of stations reported lows in the mid-20s to mid-40s. The coldest reported low of 21 degrees was recorded in Wisdom followed by West Yellowstone with 22 degrees.
The weather outlook for Sept. 17 through 23 is for near normal temperatures and below normal precipitation east of the Continental Divide. West of the Divide can expect above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. Normal temperatures for this period in Montana are highs in the upper 60s to the upper 70s, with lows in the lower 30s to the upper 40s.
Topsoil moisture adequate and surplus is 7 percent compared with 25 percent last year and the 5 year average of 46 percent. Subsoil moisture was 10 percent adequate and surplus compared to 46 percent last year and the 5 year average of 46 percent. Days suitable for field work increased this week above the 5 year average with 6.9 days suitable.
Montana producers have begun seeding winter wheat with 5 percent of seeding completed. Spring wheat is 93 percent harvested compared to 63 percent last year. Durum wheat harvest is nearing completion with 94 percent complete. Oat harvest is wrapping up with 95 percent harvested compared to 66 percent last year and a 5 year average of 84 percent. The hot, dry weather continues to aid hay production with producers amidst their second alfalfa cutting being 95 percent complete compared to the 5 year average of 89 percent. Other hay is 91 percent complete compared to a 5 year average of
76 percent. Montana potato producers have also begun harvesting ahead of schedule with 8 percent complete.
Range conditions for the reporting week are 8 percent good to excellent, well below 52 percent last year and 38percent for the 5 year average. Movement of livestock from summer ranges continues as signs of fall begin to appear with 27 percent and 33 percent moved for cattle and sheep respectively, compared to this time last year when 14 percent of cattle were moved and 13 percent of sheep.