Tim Fine

MSU Extension Agent

Richland County

On April 16, Patrick Gilchrist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Glasgow and Tom Frieders, with NWS in Billings provided a seasonal weather outlook and drought briefing. The entire briefing (which can be viewed at https://youtu.be/UfhmFuc7PD4) is less than 13 minutes long but can be summed up by saying that it is still dry and it does not appear as though things are going to change much.

During his portion of the presentation, Gilchrist points out that while we (Richland County) did receive some snowfall and sporadic rain events over the last couple of weeks, they really were not significant enough to provide any long-term relief. He goes on to point out that Sidney and the area around Sidney is still at only 28% of normal precipitation for the “water year”. In case you were wondering the “water year” began on October 11, 2020 and the data was updated on April 11, 2021. During that time frame, we typically average 3.8”of precipitation and we are currently at 1.05”. At 28% of normal we are at the lowest percentage of normal with Wibaux coming in second at 38%.

I know that this sounds like doom and gloom and I do not want to come across as being unappreciative of the moisture that we have received, but unfortunately it just was not enough to have any long-lasting effects as far as soil moisture goes.

I have to admit that I shamelessly used all of the information provided by NWS as a means to stress the importance of the drought workshop that is coming up on Monday. I mentioned this workshop a couple of weeks ago and just want to make a final plea for attendance.

The workshop will be conducted by several of our livestock and range specialists on campus who will be here in person to discuss management strategies and answer questions. It will be held here at the Extension Office from 1:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon and will also be offered via webex for those who prefer to watch participate from home.

The webex link has been posted to our Facebook page and it, as well as the live/in person workshop, is open to anyone who would like to join. The only thing that we ask is that if you are planning on attending in person, please let us know so that we can plan accordingly.

If you have more questions, need help logging onto the webinar, or want to attend in person please give me a call at 433-1206 or send an email to timothy.fine@montana.edu.

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