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Dry spell continues, complicating farming

Published on September 5, 2018 8:42AM

LONG BEACH — Even though it was cloudy and somewhat misty at times last week, August ended up having the same dry conditions as the rest of the late spring and summer in south Pacific County.

Accumulative August rainfall was 0.57 inches at the Washington State University Extension office on Pioneer Road in Long Beach, compared to an average for the month of 1.77 inches since modern record keeping started in 1960.

Total rainfall at the WSU site for May through August was 3.14 inches, less than one-third the long-term average of 9.64 inches, WSU’s Dr. Kim Patten reported. This was the second driest May-to-August period since 1960. Only 1967 had a drier record for those four months, of 3.09 inches.

Dry conditions may complicate the October cranberry harvest for some farmers, Patten said.

Conditions also have been dry in Naselle, where the salmon hatchery has 12.4 fewer inches of precipitation so far this calendar year compared to the same period in 2017. Some ranchers in Pacific and Western Wahkiakum counties report they are having to provide supplemental feed to livestock because grass is too dry and sparse to sustain them.


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