Montana wheat production better in 2013 than in 2012

2013-12-31T14:00:00Z Montana wheat production better in 2013 than in 2012By SUE ROESLER, The Prairie Star The Prairie Star
December 31, 2013 2:00 pm  • 

More wheat was produced in Montana this year than last year, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service – Montana field office.

Montana growers produced 203.1 million bushels of wheat this year, up 4 percent from last year’s crop of 195.6 million bushels, according to the NASS. Yields were up 4.1 bushels per acre with producers bringing in an average of 38.9 bushels for each acre.

“It was a good year for most Montana producers. We had good moisture when we needed it, and we ended up with quite a large crop,” said Steve Becker, outreach coordinator for the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee.

In fact, Becker said most producers were surprised at the large crop they brought in as it was larger than they expected when they applied fertilizer.

“While there were a large amount of bushels produced, our protein levels were down a little, however,” Becker said.

According to the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee’s report, 2013 was an unusual year for Montana wheat. Untimely moisture in the spring led to two different planting seasons. Some producers were able to get in the field and plant early, while precipitation forced other areas of the state to plant late. This led to an extended harvest season, and rain during harvest created some inconsistency in the 2013 crop.

While protein levels were down overall, some producers in the Golden Triangle did report some nice protein percentages, Becker said.

According to the NASS, the 2013 spring wheat production in Montana rose 9 percent over 2012 at 104.7 million bushels. The average spring wheat yield was 37 bushels to the acre, four more bushels/acre than in 2012. Acres seeded remained unchanged from last year at 2.95 million acres, though producers harvested 2.83 million acres, down 70,000 acres from the previous year.

Winter wheat production was lower than last year with producers bringing in 81.7 million bushels this year, according to the NASS. Even though the harvest was down 3 percent, yields were up four bushels per acre with each acre bringing in an average of 43 bushels. Farmers seeded 13 percent less ground in winter wheat at 2 million acres. Of those seeded, growers harvested 1.9 million acres, down 270,000 acres from 2012.

According to the latest NASS Crop Progress Report, 96 percent of winter wheat has emerged this year compared to 68 percent of winter wheat emerged by the end of November last year. The four-year average is 89 percent emerged by mid-November.

Winter wheat condition was 5 percent excellent; 51 percent good; 41 percent fair and 1 percent poor.

“I have heard from producers the winter wheat crop looked excellent early on, which should mean a great crop next summer,” said Becker. “Subsoil moisture was better than we have had in recent years.”

Montana durum producers seeded 505,000 acres in 2013, down 45,000 acres from last year, according to the NASS. Of those acres, producers harvested 490,000 acres, 55,000 fewer acres than in 2012. The average yield was 34 bushels per acre, up six bushels from the previous year.

Total durum production this year was estimated at 16.7 million bushels, up 9 percent from last year’s 15.3 million bushels, the NASS reported.

In 2013, Montana producers seeded 990,000 acres of malting barley, which was an increase of 90,000 acres from the previous year.

Producers harvested 830,000 acres of barley for grain, up 40,000 acres from last year. The average yield for 2013 is 54 bushels per acre, up one bushel from 2012. Production was estimated at 44.8 million bushels, up 7 percent.

Montana dry edible pea production at 7.22 million per hundredweight is up 64 percent from last season, according to NASS. Harvested acres were 380,000, up 30 percent from 2012. Yield is expected to be 1,900 pounds per acre, an increase of 400 pounds.

Austrian winter pea production in Montana for 2013 is estimated to be 50,000 hundredweight, down 28 percent from last year. Of that, producers harvested 5,000 acres in 2013 are 5,000, 1,900 less than last year. Yield, at 1,000 pounds per acre, was unchanged from 2012.

Lentil production for 2013 is estimated to be 2.07 million per hundredweight, down 3 percent from last year, according to the NASS. Acres harvested were 115,000 which is 80,000 fewer than in 2012. Yield is estimated to be 1,800 pounds per acre, up 700 pounds from last season.

Across the nation, all wheat production totaled 2.13 billion bushels in 2013, down 6 percent from 2012. Grain area totaled 45.2 million acres, down 8 percent from the previous year.

The U.S. yield is estimated at 47.2 bushels per acre, up 0.9 bushel from the previous year.

Barley production for U.S. producers is estimated at 215 million bushels, down 2 percent from 2012. Average yield per acre, at 71.7 bushels, is up 3.8 bushels from the previous year.

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