MGGA Weekly Crop Condition Survey

 

MAY 11, 2021

Broadwater County - Franck Groeneweg
90% of spring crops seeded. Winter wheat has greened up well. Pastures are green but with low reserve moisture. Moisture conditions are poor receiving 0.6" of precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are winter wheat, spring wheat, peas, garbanzos, canola, flax and sunflowers.
 

Fergus County - Robert Bold
Got a nice shot of moisture--just over an inch. As a correction, last week said we got an inch, it was 1/10th of an inch. Barley is poking out of the ground in about 8 days after seeding. I know we started to seed barley in 40 degree ground, but a few sunning days and the soil temperature came around fast. If we would not have received this moisture, we would be done seeding spring wheat. I read an interesting article about seeds placed into ground too cold for them to germinate in short order and have to wait for soil temperature to rise in order to germinate. It is call "seed shock" which actually reduces seedling vigor and later transmitted into a lower yield. The article was aimed at corn but also referred to the cereal grains. We have not yet seen any grasshoppers yet. Supposedly they need 50 degree soil to hatch. Moisture conditions are fair receiving 1.1" of precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are spring wheat and barley.

Flathead County - Tryg Koch
Crops are starting to emerge. Most every one is just about finished up seeding. Winter wheat is ready for the herbicide pass. Moisture conditions are good receiving 0.25" of precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are winter wheat, spring wheat, canola and hay.

Hill County - Eric Hanson
Patching, spreading, spraying, praying. That pretty much sums up our week. Most of the spring wheat is up or is starting to show in the right light. The peas finally made an appearance after a 3 week journey. And the winter wheat is growing steadily. Shouldn’t be able to see the old stubble in it by the end of the week, so it will look a lot less scruffy. Most crops in the area, some that were in the ground for a month, are all showing life. Cold ground, cold nights and early seeding was the slow-start culprit. Finally broke down and got the mower out one evening. Guess that’s a good sign that the grass is taking off. Especially for the cowboys. We watched and waited all week for rain, as it was definitely time for some in our area. Every forecast was different; from .12 to over an inch was coming through our phones and newscasts as the week moved along. But the rain finally came on Friday night. We ended up with .55 total for the weekend in Gildford, but many places received close to, or over an inch. Feeling blessed. We snuck in some chemfallow spraying before the rain on last year's hailed ground. What a stand. Scouted some winter wheat and can’t find much for weeds. The occasional mustard. So spraying will continue to pick up on more chemfallow and winter wheat crop this week. Excited to see things take off growing this week with that rain and some sun. Moisture conditions are good receiving 0.5-1" of precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are winter wheat, spring wheat and peas. No insects yet, but it won't be long. Weeds showing up are mustard, prickly lettuce and kochia. Expect to begin harvest July 25th.
 

Judith Basin County - Greg Mathews
The rain has finally showed up. As of Sunday morning, I have .91 of moisture. It appears to vary going north with more rain and less going south. The snow has reappeared around the Snowies. Got most of the top dressing done before the rain. Most of the sf done spraying. Now just waiting for the grass and crops to grow. Will have to spray the aggresser on ww as soon as the Moore farmers oil can. Hope every one got some rain and a lot of it. Moisture conditions are fair receiving 0.91" of precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are winter wheat, barley and hay. Cheat weeds and wild oats are starting to show up.

    


MAY 4, 2021

Chouteau County - Dan Works
Plant of crop in this area is wrapping up. My guess is 80-90% complete. It has been a dry spring, we have only had a couple light showers (.2"). However that being said, soil moisture is amazingly good. Planting conditions are very good. The cold has made for slow emergence, first barley I planted took a solid 3 weeks to emerge. Winter wheat came through the winter unscathed. The first joint is just above the soil surface. It looks excellent, just waiting for some warm weather. Spraying of winter wheat is underway (cheatgrass doesn't seem to care about the cold). We are looking forward to the forecasted wet weekend! Moisture conditions are good receiving 0.2" of precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are winter wheat, spring wheat, barley, durum, garbanzos, mustard and oats. Weeds showing up are cheatgrass, prickly lettuce and dandelions. Expect to begin harvest July 21, 1:32pm.
 

Fergus County - Robert Bold
It has been an interesting spring. Coming off a dry winter and the 7th driest fall months in 2020, we were already to go to the field in March. However, no weeds (condition indicators) and cold soil temperatures kept us in the yard. Less than a week ago the soil temps finally got above 40 degrees. Our sub moisture is less than normal and below average. We have about 16 inches and only 24 inches in the chem fallow--thanks to the dry fall. Normally we are 30 to 36 inches in chem fallow. Part of the dry soil conditions have to do with all the wind, no snow cover and light frost depths this past winter. The wind really drew moisture out of the ground. We are done with barley leaving spring wheat next. Moisture conditions are good receiving 1" of precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are spring wheat and barley.

Flathead County - Tryg Koch
Guys are starting to finish up seeding. Some of the first seeded crops are just starting to emerge. We are about half done seeding ourselves but hope to me done buy Mother's Day. Moisture conditions are good receiving not much for precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are winter wheat, spring wheat, canola and hay.

Hill County - Eric Hanson
That was a solid week of work in the field. No rain delays or break downs; just steadfast progress. We had two days of high winds and 80 degrees at the end of the week with only 100 acres left, so we parked the drill. No use in drying out and stirring up the sand more than we have to. Another week of great soil conditions for seeding. And from the sounds and looks of it most seeding is done or wrapping up. Had a sprinkle of moisture early Sunday morning, nothing more than a “dust settler”. Much more than a “dust settler” will be needed in due time. And we are anxiously eyeing the forecast that is hinting of that at the end of this week, possibly bringing the blessings our crops long for. Being in my glass cubicle all week offered up spectacular views of beautiful big clouds. I feel these are viewed best in our big sky state. I found myself feeling like John Constable studying the sky, trying to paint in my memory these clouds of beauty. A few warm nights and days have gotten things greening up with a rich, vibrant green. A welcome signal that we are on our way to the bounty. I had the next generation with me all week. Even at 2 1/2 he’s got dirt in his blood. Long hours weren’t enough to satisfy his enjoyment of being in the tractor; commencing two evenings with full blown fits at dark because we had to go home. Brings joy to my heart. And so we are, one step closer, looking forward with many things yet to be done this season. A few steps behind us as we continue the climb. As I sit here sowing the last few acres of spring, I’ll close with one of my favorites that feels fitting; May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand. Moisture conditions are fair receiving 0.01" of precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are winter wheat, spring wheat and peas. Insects are starting to show up and weeds are ready to bolt.
 

Judith Basin County - Greg Mathews
Finished seeding on Saturday. Have to say it was the driest seeding condition I have ever seen. The dirt on the packer wheels was like seeding winter wheat. Not much stuck to them. Just goes to show how dry it is. Only had 78 hundredths for the month of April and the ground has only 6 to 8 inches of moisture. Top dressing is the next to do job for me and spraying the sf. Top dressing is progressing here in central Montana with about 50% done. The grass and alfalfa are very slow to grow. I am expecting no run off around here this spring. Some have not started seeding around here yet. Some some wild oats breaking ground the last day of seeding so will have to go back and spray them out. Had only .48 of rain last week and started seeding two days later. Do not like the forecast for the coming week. More cold temps. Wheat has been moving out of Central Montana with three trains this last week and no malt barley as of yet. Moisture conditions are poor receiving 0.48" of precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are winter wheat, barley and hay.
 

Teton County - Mitch Konen
Crop seeding is progressing fast with not much ground left to seed. Probably 80% or better is done and remainder will be done by this weekend. Everyone is pushing hard as it sounds like some weather coming in by then. I should finish in a day or so myself. Overall conditions are great for seeding with ample moisture to get the crops started but will dry out fast as subsoil moisture is short. Open ground over the winter is in dry condition as well. Grass and trees have really taken off in their growth cycle with the heat of late. Actually had 80 degrees already. And the grass has a blueish color to it in areas indicative of low moisture levels and stress already. Earlier seeded crops from the beginning of April are rowing out. Winter wheat has seen the biggest growth spurt and will soon need spraying and some moisture. The last storminess brought snow to the mountains and bolstered the snow pack to near 100% of normal for year. Water will soon be released from above storage reservoirs and the cycle continues. Shallow wells in the area are stressed if not dry. Moisture conditions are fair receiving 0.04" of precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are barley, peas and hay.

    

APRIL 27, 2021

Blaine County - Adam Billmayer
We are getting a very chilly start. Have not begun planting yet as it has still been freezing every night. Making it difficult to get any prespraying done. Ground temps are still cold so in turn not much for weeds showing up either. Optimistic to get rolling in the next couple of days. Moisture conditions are fair with receiving two different snow storms, roughly 3 inches of accumulation. Crops being grown are winter wheat, spring wheat, barley and lentils.

Blaine County - Raymond Keller
Some seeding of pulses but the cool weather has everything slowed down! Moisture conditions are fair receiving 0.25" of precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are winter wheat, spring wheat and lentils.
 

Fergus County - Boyd Heilig
Crop progress is very slow this spring. Winter wheat is average but with this weekend's moisture and warm forecast, things should look better. Spring wheat is slow to emerge but is now poking out of the ground. Moisture conditions are good receiving 0.75" of precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are winter wheat and spring wheat.

Flathead County - Tryg Koch
Cold and dry. Seeding is well underway. Things are starting to green up and we recieved some rain and there is more predicted for the weekend. Things should start to turn around and the lawn mowers will be running!! Moisture conditions are fair receiving 0.25" of precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are winter wheat, spring wheat, canola and hay.

Hill County - Eric Hanson
It’s been an interesting start to crop year 2021. And when I say interesting, maybe I just mean cold. By and large, we had a fairly easy winter. We had summer like weather in the winter and mostly winter weather this spring. I think maybe all the wind up here has the weather spun around and it doesn’t know which way is up! And wind we’ve sure had. We’ve had “enough” is what most of us are thinking. But what would spring be in Montana without wind? Enjoyable. The winter wheat, for the most part, made it through winter pretty good. And so did our hives, which was an exciting realization. It was a welcome sound when the bees started buzzing around us on the first of March. As far as the winter wheat goes, a few ends and corners that caught the brunt of 60-90mph winter winds along with some small patches where some snow sat was the only damage around here. We’ve been in the 20’s for most of our recent nights, so it hasn’t jumped yet, but its getting ready. Spring seeding pace, in general, seems to be pretty laid back with not a whole lot in yet other than the big operators. Most pulses went in early with no problems. I would say a majority of producers started wheat this past week to ten days, and some haven’t even started yet. And I’m sure there are a few done here or there. There again, between the cold and our omnipresent wind, it’s been hard for everyone to get too excited. Or much sprayed. At least in proper fashion. I may or may not have brushed some ice out of the fill on my sprayer one morning. Allegedly. But I’m sure I’m the only one to carry on in such foolish fashion. Soil conditions have been very good so far. Moisture seems to be good for now, but we are sitting at a pretty good deficit by the numbers, so time will tell. Not a great place to be starting, but the cool temps and some minor precip has kept us hopeful. We’ve received around .25 in the last week between a few mistings, short snow squalls, and a heavy frost or two. No plans to closet the coveralls yet, but looking to see if my shorts fit after a long covid winter as it sounds like 80 by the end of the week. Already too hot for this Norwegian. We’ll have a little fair weather hauling soon thanks to some recent spikes in the market and then we’ll start looking at spraying. Lots of spraying. Crop and chemfallow will be coming fast. The lilacs are just starting to open their buds and the chickens are laying more eggs every day. Spring is here, and nature is saying let’s party. I say party on! Moisture conditions are fair receiving 0.25" of precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are winter wheat, spring wheat and peas. Expect to begin harvest July 18.

Hill County - Trevor Wolery
Wind, wind, wind and wind. Did I mention the wind? Cold temps, wind and dry have been this spring's pattern. Received .15 precipitation over the weekend and were very grateful for it. This has been a spring that displays the virtues of No Till. Ground that was worked or had minimal cover has constantly been attacked by the wind. Winter wheat in this area needs heat and has been slow to grow. We have finished lentil planting and have begun the spring wheat program. Markets are exciting and currently a constant reminder of my forward thinking HTA’s that I bit on last fall. Everyone stay safe and good luck with spring work. Moisture conditions are good receiving 0.15" of precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are winter wheat, spring wheat, lentils and mustard. Harvest date yet to be determined.

Judith Basin County - Greg Mathews
Not much moisture and winter and cold nights will not go away. With all the cold nights and cool days weeds are slow to start and has delayed my seeding. Will not burn any stubble this year because afraid the dirt will blow away. Hope to spray this week and start seeding. Some are about done and others have started and some are about to start. WW is about half done fertilized and and some spring crop. Hay is still moving down the highway and stacks are dwindling. Hay could be short this year as already had inquires for this year's crop. Hope the moisture comes soon and everyone gets a lot, best to all. Moisture conditions are poor receiving 0.08" of precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are winter wheat, barley and hay. Grass Range has already seen grasshoppers, none here yet. Cheat and volunter grains showing up. When will they stop coming? Expect to begin harvest 15 of August.

Liberty County - Vince Mattson
Very slowly!! It's been misserably cold and windy!! Several days over 40+mph winds and overnight temps in the teens and low 20's with the highs only reaching high 30's. All of this is exagerated with the lack of rainfall. Moisture conditions are poor receiving 0.1" of precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are winter wheat, barley, lentils, garbanzos and flax.

Teton County - Mitch Konen
Field work was starting out a little earlier than normal this year, but has had a patchy time frame due to excessive winds and spotty showers of rain and snow. Been getting just enough moisture to keep us out of the fields and that is about it. Soil moisture conditions are good within the top 8" but is dry below that. Weather has been relatively cool and the prairie grass and pastures have yet to green up. Winter wheat in the area has been kicked down a couple of times with nightly freezes but has revived itself from dormancy and is looking to be in good shape. Trying something different this year and put some yellow peas in. Started on the malt barley but waiting on weather now. Snow pack is around 85% of normal and think it should suffice but needs to be monitored. Drought is definitely a concern and continued optimism is our friend. Good luck to all and have a safe 2021 growing season. Moisture conditions are fair receiving 0.25" of precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are barley, peas and hay.