Warm conditions allow fieldwork to get underway

Conditions are warming up quickly and allowing fieldwork to get underway in Montana for the week ending April 29, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Mountain Regional Field Office, Montana. The high temperature for the state was recorded in Fort Assinniboine at 85 degrees. The low temperature for the week was recorded in Melville at 15 degrees. Precipitation was reported at 72 weather stations. The highest recorded precipitation for the week was in Miles City with 2.09 inches of moisture. Topsoil moisture conditions for the state were 84 percent adequate to surplus, below last year’s 92 percent. Hill County reported that gradual snow melt and winds have left soils crusted and hard. Subsoil moisture conditions are 70 percent adequate to surplus, which is below last year’s 89 percent. Cattle receiving supplemental feed was reported as 70 percent this week, compared to 58 percent in the same week last year. There was another large increase in grazing accessibility with 79 percent of pastures open, compared to 57 percent in the previous report. Calving progress was reported at 87 percent complete compared to 79 percent in the previous report, and 87 percent at this time last year. Reporters in Lake County noted that producers were branding in preparation for turning cattle out to summer ranges. Winter wheat was reported with 89 percent of the crop breaking dormancy. The spring melt has made rating the progress and condition of the winter wheat crop easier for some reporters, condition was rated as 58 percent good to excellent compared to 63 percent this time last year.