Pasture and Range Conditions
When it comes to pasture and range conditions across the lower 48 states, there has been some improvement in many areas, while many areas are still suffering and still feeling the impacts of the 2012 drought.
The spell of cooler and wet weather that developed in March, April and May has brought some improvement to many areas. Since the end of last season (October 2012) the followings states have experienced the best improvements on pasture and range conditions – Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming and Vermont. There has also been some improvement in Montana, New York, Colorado, California, Oregon and Utah. On the flip side, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Florida have all experienced a decrease in good pasture and range conditions since last fall. On the average, the lower 48 has seen some very modest rangeland improvements since last fall.
The most recent pasture and range update (released on June 3, 2013) showed the northeast states of Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Delaware and Connecticut and Maine as the states with the best pasture and rangeland conditions. The Southern Rockies and Southern Plains continue to be in the worst shape. New Mexico is by far the state that has been hardest hit by drought conditions as 92% of rangelands in New Mexico are rated either very poor or poor and only 8% rated as fair. Arizona and west Texas continue to suffer as well.
When it comes to weather trends over the ten days, precipitation chances continue to look very good for the central and Northern Plains, Northern Rockies, Corn Belt, Great Lakes, Florida and much of the southeast and northeast states. There is going to be some needed rain and thunderstorm activity in eastern New Mexico and west Texas. Dry and warm conditions are going to persist in the Desert Southwest (AZ, CA).
The cool and wet weather will continue to be a concern in the nation’s mid section as flooding concerns and slow plant progress will continue.
Temperatures will remain cooler than normal from the east slopes of the Northern Rockies and into the Northern Plains, Corn Belt and Great Lakes. All the early summer heat will be found in the far west, southwest and southern Rockies.