Montana Wheat Crop Strong, But Drought Goes On

By Beacon Staff

BILLINGS — Half of Montana’s winter wheat crop is rated good to excellent by the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

That’s the best among the nation’s seven winter wheat states.

But the extreme drought in southern Montana has farmers saying they’re going to need a lot more moisture for a successful growing season.

Molt farmer Dave Kelsey tells the Billings Gazette his fields are greening up with hard, red winter wheat but they are in need of rain. He says he held off planting the crop last fall in hopes that late-season moisture would come, but none did.

A year ago, just 24 percent of the state’s winter wheat crop was rated good to excellent.

About 42 percent of this year’s crop is greening or growing. The remainder is dormant.

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