0303MTcropreportsr.cfm 0303MTcropreportsr.cfm Soil moisture levels above last year montana
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Soil moisture levels above last year montana


Montana had a mild period mid-month that was bookended with two bitterly cold and snowy spells during the month of February, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Montana Field Office, March 3. Alberton received the highest amount of precipitation for the month with 3.96 inches of moisture. Most other stations reported receiving 0.05 to 3.91 inches of precipitation. High temperatures ranged from the upper 40s to lower 50s, with the state-wide high temperature of 53 degrees recorded at Billings, Joliet, Roundup, and Townsend. Most stations reported lows below 0 degrees with the coldest being Wisdom at -48 degrees, followed by West Yellowstone with -47 degrees. The weather outlook for March 10 through March 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 mid-30s to the upper 40s with lows 0 degrees to the mid 20s.

Both topsoil and subsoil moisture levels remain above last year. Topsoil moisture is 78 percent adequate and surplus compared with 55 percent last year. Subsoil moisture was 80 percent adequate and surplus compared to 40 percent last year.

Livestock grazing conditions remain well behind last year with 17 percent open compared to 45 percent last year due to heavy snows. Livestock birthing continues with 12 percent of calving and 6 percent of lambing complete, which is down slightly from the previous year and there are reports of weather-related losses throughout the state.

Winter wheat condition is 53 percent good to excellent compared to 38 percent last year. Winter damage remains slightly higher than last year due to high winds and periods of sustained subzero weather. Snow cover did improve during the month of February 32 percent good to excellent compared with 18 percent at the same time last year.

Date: 3/10/2014



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