Extreme drought hits northeast Montana, has farmers praying for rain
Northeastern Montana is nearing extreme drought as one of the state’s largest wheat-producing regions sees little rain.
Farmers across a 200-mile swath of the northeastern part of the state have seen just a half-inch of rain in the past two months.
This trend after scant winter snows has farmers from Jordan to Plentywood nervous about the 2017 harvest.
“It looks like August and September here already,” said Tanja Fransen, meteorologist for the National Weather Service station in Glasgow.
Rob Davis farms near Larslan in Valley County, which anchors a region where 45 percent of Montana’s spring wheat is grown.
This year that seems unlikely, Davis said.
Farmers who plant into untilled soil are seeing more moisture than they might have in past years.
But with little moisture in reserve, they’re living from rain cloud to rain cloud.
That’s not where northeastern Montana is currently, Fransen said.
Fransen said farmers need to report their weather conditions to their county extension office, the National Drought Mitigation Center or the Montana Drought Advisory Committee.