Montana Wheat

Montana saw an increase in both barley and hard red spring wheat, with yield estimates jumping to 62 and 38 bushels/acre, respectively, reported Cassidy Marn, executive vice president of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee.

Sunflowers and soybeans got a boost from recent rain, and could do all right this year — if there is timely rain.

The condition of other crops, meanwhile, stayed about the same week over week, according to the USDA’s weekly Crop Progress report.

North Dakota spring wheat rose a percentage point to 62 percent good to excellent, as did winter wheat, which lands at 51 percent. Durum, however, dropped 4 percentage points to 65 percent.

In Montana, spring wheat condition stayed at 79 percent good to excellent, but the percent rated excellent rose 6 percentage points to 22.

Durum, meanwhile, dropped 10 percent to 40 percent good to excellent week over week, but winter wheat rose 6 percentage points to 84 percent.

Williston Research Extension Center cropping specialist Dr. Clair Keene told the Williston Herald many of the small grains and dry edible peas are maturing earlier than they should, by as much as 2 weeks ahead of schedule.

“Our crew plans to harvest winter wheat this week, which is very early, 10 to 14 days early,” she said. “Early planted pea is also drying down, and some has been desiccated.”

Some of those will be harvested this week and the next, which is about two weeks early.

“Early planted spring wheat and durum is also starting to get a little golden color to it, also ahead of schedule,” she said. “It will be a few weeks before that is ready, maybe two to three, but it will still be an early harvest.”

So far so good on calls about disease concerns and pests, Keene added.

“I think things are quiet on that front,” she said.

Precipitation has been visiting the region off and on, varying from trace amounts to inches in some areas. Much of the MonDak still shows as abnormally dry — but those farmers who received more moisture than others could still see disease pressures rise. Vigilance and fungicides could be required of some.

Most of the wheat crop has headed out and as much as a quarter of the crop is turning color. Around 1 percent is mature. Harvest for the earliest planted wheat is probably 10 days to two weeks out across the region.

Here’s a look at how other crops are faring:

The condition of North Dakota soybeans rose a percentage point to 68 percent week over week with 57 percent of the crop in bloom. That’s ahead of last year’s 40 percent, but behind the five-year 62 percent average. Setting pods is 10 percent, ahead of last year’s 1 percent, but behind the average 18 percent.

North Dakota corn, meanwhile, dropped a percentage point to 69 percent good to excellent, with Corn silking at 18 percent. This is ahead of last year’s 7 percent, but behind the 25 percent average.

Montana corn dropped 6 percentage points to 84 percent good to excellent.

North Dakota canola rose 2 percentage points to 65 percent good to excellent for the week, with 95 percent of the crop in bloom. That’s close to both last year and the usual, five-year average. Coloring is 8 percent, which is near 5 percent last year, but behind the usual 23 percent average.

Canola in Montana is 86 percent in bloom and 25 percent turning color.

Montana sugar beets, meanwhile, dropped 1 percentage point to 84 percent good to excellent. North Dakota sugar beets dropped 2 percent to 95 percent good to excellent.

Oats in North Dakota rose 3 percentage points to 57 percent good to excellent, while Montana oats fell 6 percentage points to 68 percent good to excellent. The crop is 86 percent headed in North Dakota and 73 percent headed out in Montana.

North Dakota barley dropped 1 percentage point to 63 percent good to excellent, while Montana barley rose 4 percentage points to 82 percent good to excellent. It is 86 percent headed in Montana and 90 percent headed out in North Dakota. Turning color is between 28 percent to 30 percent in both states.

Dry edible peas in North Dakota dropped 7 percentage points to 63 percent good to excellent. They dropped 10 percent, however, in Montana from 83 percent good to excellent to 73 percent.

They are 93 to 95 percent in bloom across both states.

North Dakota sunflowers took a 7 percent boost, thanks to rain, week over week, climbing to 66 percent. The crop is 98 percent emerged and 7 percent are in bloom. That’s near 10 percent bloom last year, but a little behind the five-year 13 percent average.

Montana safflower is 98 percent emerged and 38 percent in bloom. That’s near the five-year 39 percent average for blooms. Around 4 percent are turning color.

Montana mustard is 90 percent in bloom, with 25 percent turning color. These are near last year and the five-year averages.

North Dakota flaxseed is 67 percent good to excellent with 85 percent in bloom, which is near last year’s 83 percent and the five-year 87 percent average.

Montana flaxseed is 81 percent in bloom and 2 percent turning color. That’s ahead of last year’s 74 percent in bloom at this time.

North Dakota’s potato condition dropped 2 percent week over week to 62 percent good to excellent. Blooming is 82 percent, near 84 last year, and the five-year 81 percent average. Rows closed is 42 percent near 40 percent for both last year and the five-year average.

Dry edible beans in North Dakota dropped 1 percent to 60 percent good to excellent with 58 percent in bloom. That’s equal to both last year and the five-year average for blooms. Twelve percent are setting pods, close to 10 percent last year. In Montana, dry edible beans are 76 percent in bloom, which is well ahead of last year’s 36 percent.

North Dakota alfalfa conditions stayed the same at 47 percent good to excellent. The first cutting is at 97 percent, ahead of last year’s 82 percent and the five-year 91 percent average.

Montana’s first cut, meanwhile, is at 75 percent.

Pasture and range in North Dakota dropped a percentage point to 54 percent, while in Montana, pasture and range rose 7 percentage points to 69 percent good to excellent week over week.

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