Governor declares drought emergency in eastern Montana - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Governor declares drought emergency in eastern Montana

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Conditions are worsening day by day in eastern Montana, and it's starting to have major impacts on farmers and ranchers in the region.

This is now the worst drought to affect northeast Montana since the U.S. Drought Monitor was first issued in 2000.

Farmers and ranchers in the area tell KRTV these are the worst conditions they've experienced since 1988.

The National Weather Service in Glasgow reports significant soil moisture loss in recent weeks.

In May alone, 8.58" of water was lost at one site due to evaporation, leaving the area bone dry.

This area has received a little bit of rain (.12" at Glasgow Valley County Airport) in June, but even that has disappeared.

Strong winds in recent weeks accelerated the evaporation process, stripping the ground of its moisture.

Last Tuesday, the Governor's Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee recommended that Governor Steve Bullock declare a drought emergency, and on Friday, Bullock issued the order.

The order includes 19 counties and two Native American reservations: Blaine, Carter, Custer, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, Hill, McCone, Petroleum, Phillips, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Roosevelt, Rosebud, Sheridan, Valley, and Wibaux counties, and the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation and the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

Click here to visit the Drought Monitor site of the Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation for more information and resources.

Report impacts

The National Drought Mitigation Center needs your reports.

If you are being affected by the drought, click here to provide a report as to how the dry conditions are affecting you, your family, and/or livelihood.

Hay Hotline

The Montana Department of Agriculture reminds people that its "Hay Hotline" is available.

The service connects hay sellers together with buyers through a website.

The tool allows you to search for hay or pasture listings as well as narrow your search by type of hay and location.

To access the online hay hotline, click here.

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