Idaho, Northern Plain producers face heavy drought concerns

The latest drought monitor is out this morning and it shows warmer than normal temperatures have continued their hold on the Northern Great Plains and upper Midwest.

Drought is also plaguing the western U.S., where they have received little to no precipitation. The conditions are so bad in the Northern Plains that some cattle producers are already culling their herd.

Some Montana counties say that very little forage is available.

The conditions are also forcing some ranchers to haul water to insure that livestock has access. The drought could have a long-term impact on feedstuff supplies in Montana and North Dakota, with high prices keeping producers from purchasing the feed they need.

Idaho dryland farmers are also dealing with extremely dry conditions. Camas County usually averages 22 inches of rainfall, but this year, it is a fraction of that.

One farmer says that his field looks lush, but the canola is stunted, dull, and not growing.

According to Tom Mosman, “The drought is killing us, but these cold nights, like the night before last. Everything is slowly coming out of the ground. There’s still moisture in the ground for these spring crops but if we don’t get rain soon and stop freezing at night, it isn’t going to be pretty.”

He says that they cannot give up on the crop, as they have to bring in a harvest to meet insurance safety net requirements.


Drought conditions in the west may be worse than 2001 drought

S. Dakota Farm Bureau on drought conditions in the state

Producers face culling decisions as drought lingers