Montana’s Wheat Crop Valued at $1.7 Billion

By Beacon Staff

BILLINGS — Agricultural analysts say Montana’s 2012 wheat crop was valued at a record $1.7 billion, making it the fifth time in six years that the crop has been valued at over $1 billion.

The Billings Gazette reports farmers harvested 194.7 million bushels of wheat from 5.5 million acres. The average price for all wheat was a record $8.45 per bushel.

Montana State University economist Gary Brester says several factors are keeping the price of wheat higher including drought in places like Russia and Ukraine and an increasing global demand for grain at a time when some farmers switched to planting corn, which is needed to produce ethanol.

The Montana Agricultural Statistics Service says the state’s wheat crop was worth just over $1.3 billion in 2011 and 2010.

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