Area honey production appears to hold on despite drought

“Issues perked up fairly properly,” says Woodworth, of Woodworth Honey & Bee Co. “We ended up with a reasonably respectable crop.”

North Dakota, Montana and South Dakota persistently lead the nation in honey manufacturing. Based on the U.S. Division of Agriculture’s Nationwide Agricultural Statistics Service, North Dakota produced 36.26 million kilos of honey in 2015, adopted by South Dakota at 19.14 million and Montana at 12.118 million. The three states even have been the epicenter of drought within the U.S. this summer time, and western North Dakota was persistently in a number of the worst drought classes.

Drought circumstances have begun to ease within the three states, although a sizeable portion of Montana stays in probably the most extreme drought classes. As of the Sept. 19 drought monitor, launched on Thursday, Sept. 21, 17.fifty three % of Montana was in distinctive drought, probably the most extreme class, whereas 25.21 % was in excessive drought, 26.ninety eight % was in extreme drought, sixteen.seventy four % was in average drought and 12.25 % was abnormally dry.

After some late summer time rains, solely three.forty six % of North Dakota and 5.sixty two % of South Dakota remained in excessive or distinctive drought. However the majority of each states stays in average or extreme drought or abnormally dry circumstances.

Whereas Woodworth does not anticipate honey manufacturing to be nearly as good as final yr, she’s pleased in comparison with what it seemed like in early summer time.

“It appeared completely horrible by means of June,” she says.

For her space, early snow soften and late summer time rains saved the day.

Early within the season, snow soften helped the clover get began, she says. The bees hung in there, doing higher than she thought they might given the circumstances. When the Fourth of July rolled round and hay, alfalfa and clover have been being minimize, issues weren’t wanting too good.

“It was actually dry then,” Woodworth says.

However late July rains helped get some sunflowers, buckwheat and canola to bloom, and the bees went to work. The canola, particularly, was a shock. Woodworth says it hadn’t come up when it ought to have within the spring however grew and bloomed later in the summertime.

“All the things was sort of tousled this yr,” she says.

In some elements of the area, irrigation helps honey manufacturing stays constant yr after yr. Jim Simpson of Simpson Honey Farms in Miles Metropolis, Mont., says his operation in southeastern Montana depends on irrigated fields, so the drought there hasn’t affected him in any respect.

Eric Hamilton, of Hamilton Honey Co. in Townsend, Mont.,…

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