IDAHO: The statewide temperatures in Idaho for the month of December were normal to above average throughout the state. Some storm activity picked up in the latter part of December. Much of that moisture fell as rain in northern, south central, and southwestern Idaho. No concerns were reported in northern Idaho at this point. Winter wheat cover looked adequate for surviving adverse conditions. Considerable moisture fell in the form of rain over the last couple of weeks of the month. Southwestern Idaho reported good hay availability and excellent calving conditions. South central Idaho also reported mild December weather. Some reporters expressed initial concerns over the lack of major storm activity in the mountain areas. Larger snowpack levels are needed to build snowpack for summer irrigation. The good news was there was also very little moisture or cold weather to adversely affect livestock in the area. Southeastern Idaho also reported a mild month with less snow on the valley floor. This allowed some grass-fed cattle producers to keep the animals out on pasture for most of the month without having to supplement their diet with hay. Very little snow was reported in Bannock and Bingham Counties. In Fremont and Oneida Counties, snow was reported covering several fields and pastures. Hay and straw was readily available for livestock producers.
MONTANA: This report for Montana is for the entire month of December 2019. Topsoil moisture 14% short, 73% adequate, 13% surplus. Subsoil moisture 7% short, 79% adequate, 14% surplus. Winter wheat - condition 4% very poor, 12% poor, 29% fair, 25% good, 30% excellent. Winter wheat – wind damage 70% none, 15% light, 13% moderate, 2% heavy. Winter wheat – freeze and drought damage 61% none, 19% light, 16% moderate, 4% heavy. Winter wheat – protectiveness of snow cover 12% very poor, 17% poor, 31% fair, 25% good, 15% excellent. Pasture and range - condition 1% very poor, 3% poor, 20% fair, 56% good, 20% excellent. Livestock grazing accessibility – 55% open, 30% difficult, 15% closed. Livestock receiving supplemental feed – cattle and calves 75% fed. Livestock receiving supplemental feed – sheep and lambs 83% fed. The month of December was relatively warm and dry for the state of Montana, with many statewide temperatures averaging two to six degrees above normal. High temperatures ranged from the high 20s to the mid 60s. Low temperatures ranged from the mid 40s to the teens. Precipitation levels for December were below normal for most of the state, with some areas receiving only 5 to 25 percent of their normal precipitation amount.
OREGON: The statewide temperatures in Oregon for the month of December were normal to above average throughout the state. Some major storm activity reported in late December arrived with high winds and heavy rainfall. Several flood watches and warnings were reported along the northern and central coasts of Oregon. Despite the heavy rainfall, much of the western half of Oregon was below average for cumulative precipitation in December. Most of the moisture received in December fell as rain. This weather combination resulted in some initial concerns over the level of snowpack in the Oregon Mountains at this point in the season. The mild weather was great for calving. Hay was readily available for livestock producers throughout Oregon. No major concerns were reported for crop producers at this point. Most operations had sufficient work windows to complete winter preparations and fieldwork in early December. Many operations focused on machinery repair and some final orchard and vineyard maintenance.
UTAH: This report for Utah is for the entire month of December, 2019. Topsoil moisture 10% very short, 18% short, 65% adequate, 7% surplus. Subsoil moisture 19% very short, 14% short, 67% adequate. Pasture and range condition 8% poor, 45% fair, 47% good. Winter wheat condition 66% fair, 34% good. Hay and roughage supplies 10% short, 81% adequate, 9% surplus. Stock water supplies 8% short, 86% adequate, 6% surplus. Cattle and calves condition 2% poor, 11% fair, 72% good, 15% excellent. Sheep and lambs condition 1% poor, 11% fair, 70% good, 18% excellent. Livestock receiving supplemental feed for cattle 88%. Livestock receiving supplemental feed for sheep 77%. Cows calved 1%. Some much needed moisture was received in the form of snow in some parts of the state.
WASHINGTON: The recent wet weather patterns around the Puget Sound helped soil moisture, penetrating the dry layers from autumn. These rains refreshed the soils and reduced fire danger. The last few days of December brought wind. Most livestock were moved to higher ground or heavy-use areas. Orchards and berry plantings were pruned. CSA operations have continued production for winter hardy vegetables. Snohomish County had flooding over Christmas week. The ground was completely saturated and there were reports of washout and erosion from the extensive rain. Yakima County received 1.2 inches of precipitation during December. No snow accumulated. The coldest nighttime temperature was 16 degrees Fahrenheit. All fruit trees were sufficiently cold tolerant and little damage occurred. Winter pruning of grape vineyards and fruit trees continued at a steady pace. Stevens County was very mild. Daytime temperatures averaged 36 degrees Fahrenheit while nighttime temperatures dipped to 27 degrees Fahrenheit. Total snow accumulation was 5.5 inches for the month of December. Ferry and Okanogan Counties had colder temperatures at the beginning of the month, then trended towards above-average temperatures at the end of the month. The Palouse had a mild December. Whitman County had saturated soils. Winter wheat, winter legumes, and rangeland were in good condition.
WYOMING: This report for Wyoming is for the entire month of December 2019. Topsoil moisture 5% very short, 25% short, 66% adequate, 4% surplus. Subsoil moisture 8% very short, 33% short, 55% adequate, 4% surplus. Winter wheat condition 4% very poor, 13% poor, 25% fair, 53% good, 5% excellent. Hay and roughage supplies 3% very short, 6% short, 88% adequate, 3% surplus. Livestock condition 2% poor, 6% fair, 89% good, 3% excellent. Stock water supplies 1% very short, 3% short, 95% adequate, 1% surplus. Pasture and range condition 3% very poor, 14% poor, 32% fair, 50% good, 1% excellent. Winter wheat condition is mostly good to fair and pasture and range is rated mostly good to fair. Temperatures were slightly above normal for most of the state and topsoil moisture levels have improved from last month.