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Northwest ND (08/17/17)

Information from the Northwest region of North Dakota.

Scattered thunderstorms and some steady rains have been working their way through NW ND for the past week. The middle of last week saw ¼” to ½” fall in many areas and cooler, cloudy weather has persisted since then. This is an unexpected change from the hot, dry conditions that dominated the area in June and July--the past week has felt cool and moist, nothing like the rest of this summer. Last week’s rainfall totals were ½” to 1” for most of McKenzie, Williams, Burke, and Mountrail Counties. The western half to two-thirds of Divide is staying drier and saw less than ½” total. Rains are too late for all but the longest season crops of this year, but will go a long way towards greening up pastures and restoring soil moisture for next year.

The rain has started to interfere with harvest somewhat as crops that were dry and ready to be cut absorb moisture and need to dry down again. Here at the Williston REC, small grains that were not harvested before the rains are undergoing shrinking and swelling. The forecast for the coming week has us returning to more typical August conditions with temperatures in the 80’s and mostly sunny with much diminished chances of rain. If these drier conditions can carry us through the end of the month, harvest progress is likely to move along quickly.

Clair Keene

Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems

NDSU Williston Research Extension Center

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