The week ending Sept. 1 remained mostly hot and dry for the state of Montana, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Montana Field Office, Sept. 3. Goldbutte received the highest amount of precipitation for the week with 1.06 inches of moisture. Most other stations reported receiving none to 0.81 of an inch of precipitation. High temperatures ranged from the upper 80s to upper 90s, with the statewide high temperature of 98 degrees recorded at Miles City, Rudyard and Roundup. A majority of stations reported lows in the mid-30s to the lower 50s with the coldest being West Yellowstone at 32 degrees. Both topsoil and subsoil moisture levels remain above last year and the 5 year average. Topsoil moisture is 49 percent adequate and surplus compared with 9 percent last year and the 5 year average of 44 percent. Subsoil moisture was 57 percent adequate and surplus compared to 12 percent last year and the 5 year average of 45 percent.
The weather outlook for Sept. 10 through Sept. 16 is for above normal temperatures and near normal precipitation both east and west of the Continental Divide. Normal temperatures for this period in Montana are highs in the upper 60s to the upper 70s with lows in the lower 30s to 50 degrees.
Range and pasture conditions remain above both last year and the five-year average with 51 percent good to excellent compared to last year’s 7 percent and the five-year average of 37 percent. Livestock are steadily being moved off summer ranges just behind the five-year average with 8 percent of cattle and 10 percent of sheep moved at this time.
Most of the state continued to have warm, dry days which helped speed up both crop progress and harvesting efforts. Winter wheat harvest is wrapping up slightly behind last year with 97 percent complete but remains ahead of the 5 year average of 93 percent. Producers are nearing completion on their second cuttings of both alfalfa and other hays with 80 percent and 66 percent complete, respectively. Corn being chopped for silage has begun with 6 percent complete but is behind both last year and the 5 year average. Corn condition is also below the 5 year average for good to excellent as a result of some areas having experienced severe hail damage in the past several weeks.
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