Wheat (copy)

Spring wheat is in the ground, and 88 percent of it has emerged. Winter wheat, meanwhile, looks like it will beat last year’s harvest, according to the latest USDA report.

1 Drought creeping down from north

About half of Williams County is showing as abnormally dry, according to the most recent Drought Monitor map, which is updated weekly.

That represents a deepening of dry conditions, reflecting short-term precipitation deficits over the past 30 to 90 days.

Dry topsoil, stress to pastures and low stock pond levels are being reported across north-central North Dakota. Temperatures have also been slightly above normal, from 2 to 8 degrees across the northern portion of the High Plains region.

The map shows 17 percent of North Dakota as abnormally dry and 11.8 percent in moderate drought, in a ribbon that stretches across the top tier of the state, and dipping down into its center.

The situation is likely to continue to worsen, with the National Weather Service predicting a better than average chance of above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation in June.

Producers in the area are encouraged to submit drought impact reports via a new reporting tool online to the Drought Monitor at http://droughtreporter.unl.edu/submitreport/.

The tool was created in partnership with USDA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. The tool allows producers to submit written descriptions of drought impacts on livelihood and activities, select categories to show losses and gains as a result of the drought, report on the duration of a drought event, select affected places, and submit images to document the drought and its impact. Contact information may also be provided, but includes an option to remain kept confidential.

2 All breeds cattle tour planned

North Dakota Stockmen’s Association will have it’s 33rd annual tour in the Watford City and Williston region this year. Those interested in being a tour stop are invited to a preliminary planning meeting at 6:30 p.m. June 26 at the McKenzie County Courthouse’s Yellowstone Room in Watford City.

Attendees will discuss tour dates, tour route, and headquarters location for the tour. For more information, contact NDSA Special Projects Director Elizabeth Neshem at 701-223-2522 or email at eneshem@ndstockmen.org.

3 Winter wheat production looks good out of the gate, spring wheat coming on strong

Based on June 1 conditions, the USDA crop forecast is 3.75 million bushels for North Dakota winter wheat, up 24 percent from last year’s crop. In Montana, winter wheat production is forecast at 78.75 million bushels, up 5 percent from the May 1 forecast, and about one-half a percent above last year.

Spring wheat, meanwhile, is mostly planted now, and 86 percent of the crop has emerged in North Dakota. That’s a little behind the more normal 91 percent average. Emergence is furthest behind in Montana, where just 79 percent is out of the ground.

Durum is 93 percent planted in North Dakota and 96 percent planted in Montana. Emergence is at 77 percent, which is near the average 80 percent in North Dakota, and the crop looks good, with 86 percent in good to excellent condition so far. In Montana, durum is 65 percent emerged, ahead of the previous year’s 60 percent but behind the five-year average 72 percent.

Average yields for winter wheat are now being forecast at 50 bushels per acre, up 7 from last year. The number of acres being harvested for grain is estimated at 75,000, up 5,000 from last year.

In Montana, winter wheat production is forecast at 78.75 million bushels, up 5 percent from the May 1 forecast and less than one-half a percent above the crop produced last year.

Estimated acres is 1.75 million, unchanged from May 1 and 180,000 more than the 1.57 million acres harvested last year. Eighty-seven percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition.

The average yield is forecast at 45 bushels per acre, 2.0 bushels above the May 1 forecast, but 5.0 bushels below last year.

The crop’s growth is so far rated 97 percent fair or better in Montana and 98 percent fair or better in North Dakota. The rest is rated poor to very poor.

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