MWBC Crop Conditions: Planting Begins

According to NASS: Warm winter conditions continued into the first week of April and minimal moisture was received across the state of Montana, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, approximately 83 percent of Montana is abnormally dry or in a current state of drought, with about 17 percent of the state in severe to exceptional drought. Reporters across the state noted producers have started getting into fields to prepare for planting. Topsoil moisture conditions were 24 percent adequate to surplus, down significantly from the previous year at 98 percent. Subsoil moisture conditions were 29 percent adequate to surplus. Planting progress was minimal across the state. Barley planted was estimated at 2 percent complete, slightly behind the 5-year average of 3 percent. Spring wheat planted was reported at 1 percent complete, equal to the 5-year average. Winter wheat was reported with 39 percent of the crop breaking dormancy, ahead of the previous year at 31 percent and the 5-year average of 32 percent. Winter wheat conditions were rated as 57 percent good to excellent compared to 52 percent this time last year. Grazing accessibility improved from the previous report, with an estimated 85 percent of pastures open, compared to 71 percent in the previous report. Calving and lambing continue to make progress, with 49 percent of cows calved and 33 percent of ewes lambed.


Planting has started while most of the state is in a drought status ranging from abnormally dry to extreme drought. With a slight positive progression in soil moisture moving from very short to short, we saw a tiny bit of rain/snow fall this Monday.


Cassidy Marn our executive director is busy tending to her new baby horse! Also called a foal, this baby boy is excited and full of life! The committee is busy as buyers are beginning to plan/predict on securing the 2021 crop. Cassidy will be presenting to a Southeast Asia buyers group as many are eager to hear about the prospective planting report and how the conditions are across the northern plaines.


We also have had a large amount of sample requests sending over 25 samples in the past 2 months around the world. Buyers who are interested in sourcing a specific variety often request testing. Those requests are a testament to our incredible breeding programs creating desirable qualities if identity persevered shipments.


Recently in light of Northern Crops Institutes food barley course we have seen increased interest in barley used in other applications. We have created unique sample presentations to send to overseas buyers and nationwide testing facilities. Below is pearled Montana buzz barley flour. This can be used in substitute up to 40% of flour recipes. Something as simple as banana bread can be enhanced with added fiber, nutrients and beta glucan making it healthier! MWBC is very excited to help work on new market developments, being that first connection buyers can have to create unique products. 60% of U.S barley acreage is now in Montana according to the most recent prospective panting report!


Click here to view Montana’s prospective planting report.


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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