The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Green Acres


April 1, 2020

The Chouteau County Soil Moisture Survey was started by Judee Wargo in 1993 to assist farmers with determining recropping potential on cereal grain stubble. After 27 years, the Chouteau County Extension Office continues to compile data for determining recropping potential and providing the state drought committee with soil moisture information.

Testing for soil moisture took place in Chouteau County on March 24-26. All winter wheat locations exceeded 3.5 feet of stored soil moisture, which is equivalent to approximately 5.25 inches of available water in a sandy loam soil. A medium textured soil like a silt loam would have approximately 7 inches of available water. A moderately fine soil like sandy clay loam would have almost 8 inches of available water, and a fine textured soil like sandy clay would have 7 inches of available water in the soil. A winter wheat crop in medium textured soils and favorable weather conditions will require only two inches of growing season precipitation to yield a 42 bushel crop.

Stubble plots located in the southern regions near Geraldine, Great Falls and Highwood have excellent recropping potential. Two other sights near the Knees and the Kenilworth Highway also have excellent recropping potential. Soil with excellent recropping potential under favorable conditions will require only four inches of growing season precipitation for 25-37 bushel per acre spring wheat crop. Under the same conditions, barley will require four inches of growing season precipitation for a 33-54 bushel per acre crop.

Hard copies of the 2020 Soil Moisture Survey are available at the Chouteau County Extension Office or can be e-mailed upon request.

Montana State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Montana Counties Cooperating. MSU Extension is an equal opportunity/affirmative action provider of educational outreach.


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