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Crop Progress, Hazy Harvest Week

Condition Descriptions:

 

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.

 

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According to NASS: Warm temperatures and minimal moisture were observed across Montana during the past week, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Reporters in Beaverhead, Deer Lodge and Gallatin counties reported the dry conditions are allowing for good harvest progress and crop maturations. Reporters across the state noted that the grasshopper infestation has created extensive damage to crops and pastures. Topsoil moisture conditions for the state were 32 percent adequate to surplus, compared to 34 percent in the previous week and 72 percent the previous year. Subsoil moisture conditions were rated 39 percent adequate to surplus compared to 73 percent the previous year. Barley harvest made significant progress last week, with an estimated 54 percent of the crop harvested, ahead of the previous year at 45 percent, but behind the 5-year average of 67 percent. Dry edible pea and lentil harvest continues to progress, with an estimated 80 percent of the dry pea crop and 77 percent of the lentil crop harvested, compared to the previous week at 66 percent and 60 percent, respectively. Durum wheat harvest progresses ahead of the previous year, with an estimated 33 percent of the crop harvested, compared to 18 percent the previous year. Oilseed harvest made good progress last week, with an estimated 31 percent of flaxseed and 30 percent of the mustard seed crop harvested, both ahead of the previous year. Oats harvested is estimated at 50 percent complete, ahead of the previous year at 34 percent, but behind the 5-year average of 59 percent. Spring wheat harvested is estimated at 55 percent complete, ahead of the previous year at 30 percent, but slightly behind the 5-year average of 57 percent. Second cutting for alfalfa and other hay is progressing ahead of the previous year, with 65 percent of alfalfa and 51 percent of other hay harvested. Winter wheat harvest is starting to wrap up, with an estimated 82 percent of the crop harvested, ahead of the previous year at 77 percent, but behind the 5-year average of 91 percent. Due to dry conditions, cattle and sheep moved from pasture has started early, with an estimated 5 percent of both cattle and calves and sheep and lambs moved from pasture.

 

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It has been a hazy smokey week. Wildfires in Colorado and California are blowing smoke across western United States. Rain is greatly needed in Colorado and California. While hazy afternoons are typical for this time of the year it gives an eerie feeling, especially in this pandemic environment. My curiosity has been sparked for a study on ash deposited in the soil transported from wildfires in other states. Is it possible there is a detectable amount of ash in the prairies of Montana? Smoke traveling from long distances has minimal ash content maybe over 1000’s of years this has amounted to some ash content in the soils? Ash can contain trace minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium. It is very unlikely there are any impactful deposits unless your field is immediately next to a wildfire, and if that were the case you would not be celebrating! I would love it if there was a study done on this!

 

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A few scattered showers across Montana kept our moisture conditions like last week. Some harvest delays were observed yet we still are above last years harvest rate. Overall, it is still hot and dry for the next week. We will see a temperature drop next week; producers will be looking to put in long days to get as much in the bin as possible. 

Montana Grain Growers Association conducts a survey each week from producers across the state on what they have been experiencing, Click HERE to read.

MSU’s new malting barley variety buzz is looking ready for harvest at Malt Europe’s field plots. Boy it looks good!

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Every year Montana wheat and barley committee assists in collecting new crop winter wheat samples. Those samples are sent to FGIS in Kansas City and data is collected via plains grain. Plains Grain assembles the data in a very informative booklet which is sent overseas to buyers. The collection has gone very smoothly, we are thankful for the cooperation across the state. One specific elevator wanted to brag a bit by writing the specs on the bag. WOW that is what I call MONTANA PROTIEN!

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Always look at the bright side of life, wildfire smoke can produce some unique sunsets! If its hot and dry go, take advantage of the mighty Missouri river! 

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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 =)

-Sam Anderson

WBC@mt.gov

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