Pasture and Range Condition Update


LIVESTOCK MARKETING INFORMATION CENTER – Nationwide spring/summer pasture and range conditions have started off very well. Of course, the most notable exception is California. USDA-NASS began reporting weekly conditions on May 4, 2015.

Overall, U.S. pasture and range conditions are better than when 2014 started, with only 12% of U.S. rangeland being rated in the two worst categories, poor and very poor to start off 2015. Last year, 23% was rated in these two categories and the prior 5-year average (2009 through 2013) was 20%.

Regionally, the current picture is fairly consistent aside from the Western region. The LMIC groups states into six regions: West, Southern Plains, Great Plains, Corn Belt, Northeast, and the Southeast. Out of these six regions only the West and Northeast have pasture and range conditions even with, or worse than, their respective 5 year averages of percent range categorized as poor and very poor. The other four regions show better starting points than last year. All are currently tracking below their 5 year average values. The Southern Plains has shown the most improvement, currently with 10% of rangeland classified as poor and very poor, compared to 2014 at 43% and the 5 year average at 33%.

California continues to suffer from extreme drought, and Oregon and Nevada are experiencing more drought relative to the rest of the country. Topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions are poor throughout California, with 85% of cropland acreage rated as very short and short for topsoil moisture conditions, and 90% of cropland acres rated very short and short on subsoil moisture conditions.


TOPEKA, KS, May 11, 2015 – For the week ending May 10, 2015, precipitation was received statewide, with average rainfall near one inch, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Some areas received up to three inches of rain. Temperatures averaged six to eight degrees above normal in the east, but were near normal in the west. Activities included planting of spring crops and moving cattle to summer pasture. There were 2.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture rated 5 percent very short, 19 short, 67 adequate, and 9 surplus. Subsoil moisture rated 14 percent very short, 30 short, 54 adequate, and 2 surplus.

Livestock, Pasture and Range Conditions: Pasture and range condition rated 6 very poor, 11 poor, 38 fair, 38 good, and 7 excellent. Stock water supplies rated 7 percent very short, 20 short, 70 adequate, and 3 surplus.

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