Crop Progress, Tight Planting Window Available


According to NASS: Cold, winter conditions early on gave way to warmer weather across Montana during the past week, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Reporters in Roosevelt and Valley counties stated the moisture received has helped dry conditions. Topsoil moisture conditions for the state were 46 percent adequate to surplus, compared to 35 percent in the previous week, and 96 percent the previous year. Subsoil moisture conditions were rated 42 percent adequate to surplus compared to 93 percent the previous year. Due to the improvement in the weather, corn for grain harvest was able to progress, with an estimated 46 percent of the crop harvested, behind the 5-year average at 54 percent, but ahead of the previous year at 27 percent. Safflower harvest is estimated at 91 percent complete, ahead of the previous year and 5-year average at 65 percent and 79 percent, respectively. Sugarbeet harvest progressed well last week, with an estimated 72 percent of the crop harvested, ahead of the previous year at 42 percent, but falling behind the 5-year average of 75 percent. Planting of the 2021 winter wheat crop is wrapping up, with an estimated 94 percent of the crop planted, equal to the 5-year average, and ahead of the previous year at 90 percent. Emergence of the 2021 winter wheat crop advanced last week, with an estimated 73 percent of the crop emerged, ahead of the previous year at 62 percent, but behind the 5-year average of 79 percent. An estimated 68 percent of cattle and calves and 69 percent of sheep and lambs have been moved from pasture, both progressing behind the average. Reporters in Judith Basin and Phillips counties stated the warmer temperatures and melting snow allowed some livestock producers to reduce their supplemental feeding. An estimated 38 percent of cattle and 48 percent of sheep are receiving supplemental feed, ahead of the 5-year averages of 29 percent and 33 percent, respectively.


The snow melted, moisture conditions improved, and planting progress advanced. The state is now 94% planted based on last years acreage. The first week of November has shown to be fair planting conditions. Snow and rain are expected this weekend. I anticipate in the next couple days winter wheat planting will end. The next question is how will we compare to last years acreage? MWBC anticipates Montana’s acreage to be like last year if not slightly higher. Producers are motivated to get more acres in especially from the recent rallies.



On election day I was able to get out and scout the snow levels in the Three Forks MT area. The snow was melted, I did not see any winter wheat emergence, but the conditions were ideal for finishing up fall work. The great thing about scouting in Montana is you can easily get a mountain top view with a thrilling descent back to the car.


Election results are an emotional rollercoaster, people will be relieved, frustrated, confused, and feeling short changed. Most of all I am happy to see my mailbox empty. Here is my sister’s new puppy golden retriever to ease your mind a bit, from what I can tell she loves both red and blue equally.


Given the limited travel circumstances this summer, MWBC has now created a taste of what it may be like to visit us virtually. Check out our newly released virtual experience page. While it is no substitute to an actual visit, we hope we can provide a connection to the hard-working Montanan’s that make the supply chain essential.


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



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