Crop Progress, Winter Wheat WOW!

NASS crop reports is some cases are subject to opinion. The best opinion of the crop is local staff, who seen Montana crops for some time. Eric Sommer is a well-respected state statistician who oversees producing Montana reports, his team produces some pretty accurate data! Here are the parameters used to determine conditions:


Very Poor - Extreme degree of loss to yield potential, complete or near crop failure. Pastures provide very little or no feed considering the time of year. Supplemental feeding is required to maintain livestock condition.


Poor- Heavy degree of loss of yield potential which can be caused by excess soil moisture, drought, disease, etc. Pastures are providing only marginal feed for the current time of year. Some supplemental feeding is required to maintain livestock condition.


Fair - Less than normal crop condition. Yield loss is a possibility, but the extent is unknown. Pastures are providing generally adequate feed but still less than normal for the time of year.


Good - Yield prospects are normal or above normal. Moisture levels are adequate with only light disease and insect damage. Pastures are providing adequate feed supplies for the current time of year.


Excellent - Yield prospects are above normal, and crops are experiencing little or no stress. Pastures are supplying feed more than what is normally expected at the current time of year.




21st of June Crop Progress report:


Excitingly from this week’s data we see winter wheat jump to a staggering excellent rating of 45%, the 5-year average being 26% and last year 22%. This year winter wheat acres projected to be down 20%, is it possible that Montana’s production levels wont change with the current outlook? The progress of the crop is at par with the previous years at 84% booted and slightly higher 55% headed.


Spring wheat at 35% booted and 5% headed, still behind the 5 year average of 49% booted and 8% headed, is no surprise. We had winter last 1-2 weeks longer than normal this year, but the crop is still more mature than last year. No major change in condition ratings this week being at 85% good to excellent versus 57% of the 5 year average.


Durum is now considered done planting. I still wonder if we indeed hit the 570,000 projected acres. It is hard to say until harvest is over, but I believe that durum farmers really wanted to get durum in the ground. The current cash bids for durum range from $4.75-5.75 which still is a steal for buyers in my opinion. 76% of the durum has emerged and 18% booted, below the 5 year average of 91% emerged and 21% booted. The crop is considered fair according to NASS at 81% fair, 16% good, 3% excellent. The previous year the crop was at 53% fair, 37%, 4% excellent.  


Barley is at 42% booted and 6% headed over last week only being 15% booted, 1% headed. Conditions are pointing to a great barley crop as well at 85% good to excellent over 66% at the 5-year average. The concern is logistics at this point, the malting barley industry was negatively affected by COVID-19. Mexican malt houses closed causing a logistical lag with our major suppliers. There is optimism that we could see new export avenues in the future, a common phrase is “I’ll believe it when I see it”.




Moisture levels in the treasure state are holding tight. We have had a few rain events in the last week, but it was spotty. Topsoil is at 81% adequate to surplus versus 78% last year and 66% 5-year average. Subsoil at 85% adequate to surplus versus 71% last year and 64% 5-year average. Everyone could use a little bit of rain to continue the high level of optimism we are hearing. There is always rain in the forecast here but it can often fizzle away.


If you need help sourcing wheat and barley ingredients for your business, we would love to help. We will connect you with several options that provide numerous methods of delivery. All our wheat and barley suppliers can conduct negotiations virtually to fit your country or states regulations if needed, otherwise social distancing is not a problem out here =) Here is my most recent adventure going on a bike ride with a stunning view of the rocky mountains WOW!



-Sam Anderson



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