The REAL March Madness: Montana’s Prospective Planting Report



The last day of March is considered a holiday in our office as the awaited USDA

prospective planting numbers are released. Cassidy Marn and I have locked in

our wheat and barley acreage guesses with only 1 winner......


Cassidy Marn Guesses:

Winter Wheat: 1.9 Million Acres

Spring Wheat: 3.1 Million Acres

Durum: 600,000 Acres

Barley 750,000 Acres

Record: 0-3-1


Sam Anderson’s Guesses:

Winter Wheat: 1.9 Million Acres

Spring Wheat: 3.0 Million Acres

Durum: 700,000 Acres

Barley 900,000 Acres

Record: 3-0-1


The 2021 report:

Winter Wheat: 1.75 Million Acres, Up 13%

Spring Wheat: 2.9 Million, Down 12%

Durum: 710,000 Acres, Up 3%

Barley: 950,000 Acres, Up 7%


And the WINNER is: Sam Anderson! WOO!!!!








Let us dive into some of the highlights of the USDA prospective planting



We will likely see seeders out this weekend. The conditions are dry, producers

will be putting in pulses and barley to start.


Barley We are seeing a 7% increase in barley acreage. Which is accounting for

60% of ALL U.S barley acreage. There is a reason why we are called the barley

capital of the world (Fairfield MT).

We have heard of some contractual increases but also some decreases. The

feed market into Canada has been driving a big demand for left over barley

from last year. This increase could account for the 7% planting increase. I

would also like to mention that there was a 210,000-acreage overestimate on

the 2020 report.


Durum is up 3% and compared to last years estimates the actual planted

acreage was 120,000 acres higher. Prices have shown some strength lately due

to increase grocery demand and dry conditions in eastern Montana and

western North Dakota. If we get some rain, we could see those numbers

increase in may as durum is planted later.



Winter wheat up 13% at 1.75 million acres. This increase has a lot to do with

poor planting conditions the previous year. Yet we did not have the best

planting conditions the fall of 2020. Winter wheat prices are currently

favorable, if fall conditions were better, we could have seen a much higher

number. Hindsight is 2020




Spring wheat acreage is down 12% from the record 3.3 million acreage last

year. This is likely due to the current moisture conditions and seeing an

increase in durum, flax, lentils, chickpeas, peas, and hay. If we see moisture

events in eastern Montana, we could possibly see the spring wheat plantings

increase shifting from pulses. Watch the weather closely in Montana’s

Platinum square. 



2021 Montana Prospective Planting:


U.S All Wheat up 5% at 46.4 million acres

Crop Area: 9.8 Million Acres (9.79 Million Acres Last year)

Barley: 950,000 Acres, Up 7%

Winter Wheat: 1.75 Million Acres, Up 13%

Durum: 710,000 Acres, Up 3%

Spring Wheat: 2.9 Million, Down 12%

Canola: 160,000 Acres, Up 3%

Flaxseed: 115,000 Acres, Up 10%

Chickpeas: 130,000 Acres, Up 12%

Lentils: 440,000 Acres, Up 19%

Dry Edible Pea: 500,000 Acres, Up 2%

Hay: 3 Million Acres, Up 5%

Corn: 100,000 Acres, Down 13%

Oats: 60,000 Acres, Down 14%


2020 Prospective planting versus actual.


Barley-1.1 million acres 890,000 Acres Actual

Winter Wheat-1.6 million acres, 1.55 Million Acres Actual

Durum-570,000 acres, 690,000 Acres Actual

Spring Wheat-3.3 million acres, 3.3 Million Acres Actual


Some notable highlights in other states:

ND Durum down 18%

ND Corn up 69%

ND Soybeans Up 22%

ND Lentils up 18%

Kansas winter wheat up 11%


Take a look at the full report: https://release.nass.usda.gov/reports/pspl0321.pdf

Take a look at the most recent crop conditions report CLICK HERE

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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