Drought emergency declared in 19 Montana counties, 2 reservations

Drought emergency declared in 19 Montana counties, 2 reservations.
Parts of these counties have seen record low precipitation, high temperatures, and excessive wind in the last two months, state officials said.
These conditions rapidly deteriorated crop and forage viability after a winter of below average precipitation.
Crops such as oats, spring wheat, edible dry peas, and sugar beets are all suffering, officials said.
In addition, pasture and range conditions are poor to very poor, per the June 18 Crop Progress Report.
Ranchers reported extreme dust has made it difficult to keep track of all head, even during branding.
Bullock said farmers and ranchers from many eastern communities are feeling the impacts of drought conditions.
He said his administration is committed to making sure impacts are minimized and will continue to work closely with these communities to monitor conditions and provide further assistance.
Earlier Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture authorized emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program lands in Montana.

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