Ranchers benefit from snow storms - KOTA Territory News

Ranchers benefit from snow storms

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Before the April snowstorms hit Wyoming ranchers were worried about the lack of moisture.

"We were about 70 percent of normal.  We were really concerned about stock water," said Padlock Ranch CEO Wayne Fahsholtz.

But after multiple storms dumped several inches of snow, stock dams and reservoirs look more promising.

"They're beginning to fill.  After this melts, we should be in pretty good shape," said Fahsholtz.

The area gets more than half its moisture from March through May.  So these snowstorms lead ranchers to believe this year should be better than last.

"We're planning on it.  We think it'll be better.  After having experienced last year, we're apprehensive.  We don't think we'll know for sure until we get into the end of June," said Fahsholtz.

Fahsholtz  saw last year how poor snow pack numbers coupled with a summer drought could hurt his land.

"For this area, we were thinking we were in pretty good shape until about the middle of May and the moisture just did not come," said Fahsholtz.

Wyoming Department of Agriculture officials say the state's snow pack is 25 to 30 percent better now than it was at this point last year.

But Fahsholtz will feel better if the precipitation keeps falling through the spring.

"We need three or four more inches of rain each month through the end of July.  If we do that, we're going to be fine," said Fahsholtz.

Agriculture officials say Wyoming still needs good amounts of precipitation through the next couple of months to offset the effects of last year's drought.

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