Conditions too wet for fieldwork throughout state

During the week ending April 15, Montana continued to wait for spring conditions to arrive, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Mountain Regional Field Office, Montana. The high temperature for the state was recorded in Billings at 71 degrees. The low temperature for the week was recorded in Wibaux at 5 degrees. Precipitation was reported at 90 weather stations. The highest recorded precipitation for the week was in Miles City with 1.50 inches of moisture. Topsoil moisture conditions were 87 percent adequate to surplus, which is below last year’s 93 percent. Subsoil moisture conditions are 67 percent adequate to surplus which is below last year’s 87 percent. Reporters noted that conditions remained too wet for fieldwork throughout the state, with snowy conditions and flooding reported in much of the state. The late spring was causing some producers to change their planting intentions, according to reporters; with some reporting plans to plant fewer pulse acres in favor of spring wheat or barley. The remaining snow has made rating the progress and condition of the winter wheat crop difficult in many areas, according to reporters. Winter wheat was reported with 17 percent of the crop breaking dormancy, significantly behind last year’s progress report of 93 percent for the same week. Sixty-five percent of the winter wheat crop was rated in good to excellent condition, compared to 67 percent last year.