Crop Progress, Reap What You Sow
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.
According to NASS: Warm temperatures and dry conditions were observed across Montana during the past week, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Reporters in Powder River, Stillwater and Sweet Grass counties reported the grasshopper infestation continues to damage forage and grain crops. Reporters also noted that cattle are receiving supplemental feed due to the lack of forage growth caused by dry conditions. Topsoil moisture conditions for the state were 54 percent adequate to surplus, compared to 70 percent in the previous week and 65 percent the previous year. Subsoil moisture conditions were rated 62 percent adequate to surplus compared to 64 percent the previous year. Barley turning color was estimated at 80 percent complete, ahead of the previous year at 78 percent. Barley harvest has begun, with an estimated 1 percent of the crop harvested, even with the previous year but behind the 5-year average of 13 percent. Dry edible peas and lentil harvest continues to progress slower than the 5-year average for both crops. An estimated 21 percent of the dry pea crop has been harvested, with a 5-year average of 42 percent. Lentil harvest is estimated at 16 percent complete, behind the 5-year average of 25 percent. Durum wheat coloring is estimated at 50 percent complete, equal to the previous year. The oilseed crop continues to progress well, with an estimated 40 percent of the flaxseed crop turning color, and mustard seed turning color is estimated at 65 percent complete. Oats turning color is estimated at 55 percent complete, ahead of the previous year at 46 percent. Spring wheat turning color is estimated at 69 percent complete, ahead of the previous year at 55 percent, but behind the 5-year average of 73 percent. Oat and spring wheat harvest has begun, with an estimated 1 percent of both crops harvested. The first cutting for alfalfa and other hay is almost complete, with alfalfa harvested estimated at 95 percent complete, ahead of the previous year at 92 percent. First cutting of other hay is estimated at 88 percent complete, ahead of the previous year at 86 percent. Second cutting for alfalfa and other hay has begun, with 19 percent of alfalfa and 12 percent of other hay harvested. Winter wheat was reported with 95 percent of the crop turning color, ahead of the previous year at 94 percent. Harvest continues slowly for winter wheat, with an estimated 20 percent of the crop harvested, behind the 5-year average of 52 percent. Winter wheat conditions were rated as 86 percent good to excellent, compared to 72 percent this time last year.
Things have dried up rapidly, it is all systems go for harvest. Moisture conditions have deteriorated quickly as it has been 90F and sunny for the last 2 weeks. High temperatures with no moisture can often result in plant stress. That stress can positively impact protein content in small grains. The “Golden Triangle” and the “Platinum Square” produce some of the highest quality small grains in the world due to such climate. Montana Grain Growers Association conducts a survey each week from producers across the state on what they have been experiencing, Its a great read.
Harvest is slightly behind across the board. The current weather conditions warrant long days on the combine to get the crop in the bin. Our producers will work the long hours to reap the rewards of a high-quality grain. Harvest symbolizes so many positive virtues in life. My favorite being “You reap what you sow”, the efforts you put into the crops now often directly affect what your result is, which can translate to so many different things in our lives. Often families reunite to help, children travel home, friends lend a hand and the community celebrates these efforts. MWBC hopes your harvest is wholesome and safe.
There have been a few mentions of the “White Combine” coming to help harvest, which is slang for hail destroying the crop. Fortunately, according to the state hail insurance, claims are 50% less than the same time last year. Executive director Cassidy Marn has been able to get out to her family farm and help. Here are a few photos of what she has seen.
The state is drying out quickly, wildfires are sparking up in the mountains. Some mountain rains would be very welcomed. This weekend my wife, sister and I were able to get out and see Fairy Lake just north of Bozeman. It was stunning, crystal clear waters, wildflowers, mountain goats and good conversations.
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 =)