MGGA Weekly Crop Condition Survey


AUGUST 24, 2021 - Final Crop Survey

Carter County - Michael Hansen
Crop adjuster came last week and zeroed every acre. Combine didn’t come out of the shed. Grasshoppers ate crops as fast as you could spray for them. Hayed the winter wheat in mid June made a few bales. Didn’t even cut any grass hay. Finally rained so maybe weather pattern will change and we won’t have to plant winter wheat into concrete, will start planting it in the next few weeks. Hopefully the rain will sprout some cheat grass to get sprayed before we plant. Would have been a great year to chemfallow, wouldn’t have had to spray but one time. Neighbors are weaning calves and selling cows already. Maybe next year will be better. Moisture conditions are poor receiving 1.5" of precipitation in the past week. Crops grown were winter wheat, durum, barley, hay, sorghum and proso millet. Grasshoppers are a problem.

Fergus County - Robert Bold
What a welcome rain!! It was the first general rain for over a year and last real rain since May when we got 1.5 inches. This will really cool the ground off and get the cool season weeds like cheat grass started. The weather signs as of today are for an early fall. Our poor hoppers need a food subsidy program as they are under fed with nothing green. They have stopped growing due to lack of a green palatable food source. Those that have migrated to a better area like Greg's are probably okay. (At least I think so until I hear a report.) Many of ours will now not get mature enough to lay eggs. That being said, there still will be more than enough to lay eggs. We are going to use Lumivia CPL from Corteva seed treat on our winter wheat seedings. If the hoppers are too bad, we will just have to spray the entire field with something like Grizzly or Mustang prior to seeding. Other than that, harvest in this area is about totally wrapped up with the exception of some late seeded spring wheat and a few fields of canola, which is trying to set new pods which are still green. More hay trucks on the road this year than grain trucks. I think most of the cattle people here are set okay for the winter unless it is a bad winter or postponed making feed purchase decisions. Lots of straw baled up--more than I have seen. Not too picky this year if it's wheat or barley straw or out of a conventional or rotary. But the hay crop (or lack of) was sure a good indicator of how the year was going to be. Any way you look at it, this was a very good set up rain for 2022. Moisture conditions are good receiving 2" total of precipitation in the past week.

Hill County - Eric Hanson
The older I get, the more I am reminded of many things. Answers are replaced with questions. Time is variable. The simplest of things are taken for granted. And rain may be the elusive piece of the puzzle that fell into the couch cushions. Someday it will show up, just not when you are trying to put the puzzle together. What a year. Every time I think we’ve had our worst, I’ve been corrected. But we learn, we adapt, we are humbled. And given the chance, with blind optimism, we once again will stumble off into the unknown. That’s farming. We could hash over the lack of rain, the grasshoppers, the heat, short yields. How about the wind? But we’ve done that all year. I am already looking forward to the next. Cautiously. Hopefully wiser. Praying for rain. For more understanding. Thankful for what we have, have had, and will have. That this one is behind us and better times are on the horizon. It’s been enlightening to learn and read about everyone’s experience and insight. Thank you to everyone who has participated. I truly look forward to hearing from everyone next season. But until then, from the permanent resident of next year country, signing off. We’ll see you in 22. Moisture conditions are poor receiving 1" of precipitation in the past week, but still in a deficit. Crops grown were winter wheat, spring wheat and peas.

Judith Basin County - Greg Mathews
What a year. Spring things went great with quick seeding and spring crop expectations looking great, WW was looking fair with a thin stand. Then little rain in May and June and haying was 2 weeks early. Hay crop was way below average and hay prices took off, some of the highest I have seen $200 to $300 plus. WW harvest was done in July with the heat doing its damage but test weight was suprisingly good, high protein but low yields. Barley was the real dissappointment with low yields, very high protein (15 to 18 plus). Test weight was a shocker, 47.5 to 49.3 as a thin stand as it did not stool out. Hoppers were everywhere and never saw so much straw being baled. As the crop year comes to a end it finally started to rain receiving 1.53 inches this past week. It will take more rain to seed ww in September but I will more likely seed in October. Smoke was the common sight this last 30 days plus. Next year has to be better as there are no two years of bad weather the same, hopefully. Best to all and let the rain gods poor out the rain, let's go from one extreme to another. Wet and bountiful. Moisture conditions are poor receiving 1.53" of precipitation in the past week.

Sheridan County - Terry Angvick
Have been absent all season, but thought I would contribute as a summary. Crops in the Northeast corner of the state are dismal. Pea and lentil yields are approximately 25-30% of normal. Spring wheat and durum yields are anywhere from abandoned to 20 bu/ac. The higher yields are in isolated pockets where a stray storm went through. Avg yield will be approx 10-15 bu/ac. That may be optimistic.
Whole region still very dry, with grasshoppers and sawfly causing a lot of harvest loss. Bright spot is higher prices for all commodities, but not a lot to sell unless old crop still hanging around. Moisture conditions are poor receiving
 currently .15-.5" of precipitation in the past two days. Crops grown were durum, peas, lentils, flax and hay. Grasshoppers, sawfly, kochia, and Russian thistle are problems. Nearly complete with harvest, some durum and flax left.

Teton County - Mitch Konen
This week will be the last hurrah for the 2021 cropping season on the Konen Farm here on the Greenfields Bench, I hope. I have the combine back together after losing the water pump the night before the rains last week. 3-4 days of cutting should get all of the crops off the fields. It has been an average to better year so far here for yields and quality of crop. I was mostly malt barley with a little patch of yellow peas mixed in just for a trial. The peas performed rather well and with the market will not lose any money. The barley crop is performing really well considering the heat during the summer. They started out well and with the moisture of April and May of approximately 4", we were off to the races. The dryland grass hay was setup for good production but withered in the heat of June and July and came in at about average production. Then the grasshoppers showed up and started eating anything that was green. We had 6.18" of moisture for the water year, Oct 1 - today. Snow pack started out above average and has held on to this day with water in the irrigation system yet, but is really close to being shut-off. We have been an oasis in the middle of desert conditions for most of the year which makes it hard to give a good report of crops amongst the anguish of the rest of the state. Lately I have been hearing of not so favorable reports locally, short production and substandard quality. So overall it appears that supply will be short and demand will remain strong. Here's to a better year this next cropping season. Moisture conditions are fair receiving .3" of precipitation in the past week. Crops grown were barley, peas and hay. Grasshoppers and mosquitoes are problems.


AUGUST 17, 2021

Blaine/Phillips County - Richard Grabofsky
It is progressing way ahead of schedule. If it wasn't for the showers today we would have been almost done with our harvest by Friday. Normally we would just be getting started. Very poor yields. Lentils 5-10 bushel acre. HRW 25. HRS cc 5-10. HRS-CF 18 to 25. Moisture conditions are poor. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat, barley, lentils and hay. Grasshopper's are devouring anything green, will be a huge problem to seed winter wheat. We are about done with harvest.

Broadwater County - Franck Groeneweg
2/3 harvested. Abandoning 1000ac of spring wheat due to extreme poor yield. Chickpeas, flax, canola and sunflowers left to harvest and not quite mature yet. Moisture conditions are poor. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat, peas, garbanzos, canola, flax and sunflower. Russian thistles are a problem.

Carter County - Robbie Fix
Finished. Moisture conditions are poor receiving no precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat, garbanzos and canola. Grasshoppers are a problem.

Cascade County - Steve Sheffels
Very dry until rain these last couple of weeks. Winter wheat harvest was just a little below average with light (right around 60) test weights and 12-13 protein. Barley was much below average with barely acceptable malt standards. Although it looked as though the barley had green streaks that were too green to cut, the grasshoppers had eaten off most of the green heads so our grain moisture was acceptable. Moisture conditions are poor, very much needed rain happening now. Forcast to be about an 1". Crops are winter wheat and barley. Lots of grasshoppers adn the normal weeds, but no diseases. 99% complete with harvest.

Chouteau County - Nathan Keane
Harvest is just about wrapped up. We have a little bit of hemp to harvest. It is about a week out from cutting. Overall our crops yield this year was 50-75% lower than normal. Moisture conditions are poor receiving .65" last night and today for precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, barley, garbanzos, canola, hemp and hay. Grasshoppers, kochia and pigweed are problems. Almost done with harvest.

Fergus County - Robert Bold
Harvest is about wrapped up here. Only a few spots left. Plenty of bin room this year. Not too many grain trains loaded out this year. Hoppers are leaving, but still plenty around. To my recollection, hoppers were worse in 1988. According to U of Nebraska, 7 hoppers per square yard in a 10 acre field eat as much as 1 cow per day. 17 hoppers per square yard (and we had more than that at time per square yard), in a 40 acre field eat 1 ton per day. (One ton equals 33 bushels of wheat or 42 bushels of barley.) But the extremely hot summer heat appears to be about over. I know 2021 set the record for the more consecutive days above 90, but only 4th for the hottest. 1908 and 1936 were hotter. I can't imagine what 1936, for example, was like. No air conditioning. No central heat. No TV. No Sirius XM. No phone. No internet. No running water unless you had a tank above the house. No hot water other than off the wood and coal stove. No microwave. In 1936, 96% of all the farm houses had wood and coal to cook with. I can't imagine just how hot that kitchen was. If there was to be any cooking at all much less baking, it had to be on that wood and coal stove. No refrigeration. Ice box at best and the rural ice houses were empty by July. So they were back to canning everything--on the wood and coal stove. The houses smelled of the kerosene lights. No electricity. Some had the 32 volt wind chargers with battery packs for lights. (Come a full circle have we?) No crop insurance. If you had a bad year--you really had a bad year. No MGGA. No Wheat and Barley Committee. Any how, I just can not help but think how hard it was and how tough and determined some of our ag ancestors were to be able to bare those conditions and yet look forward to another year. It was their commitment and determination that laid the ground work for so many of our operations today. So, being like them--to a small degree--we are looking forward to seeding winter wheat. At this time we have little to no subsoil moisture. Therefore next year's yields will be like if it were on recrop. (Never before in recorded history has it never again rained.) With rain in the forecast for later this week, it will be a start. It will take some rain to moisten the top soil so it can began to take moisture in. Kind of like a kitchen sink dish cloth. Dry, it doesn't absorb very much. Damp it does a good job. Tuesday morning ramblings. Moisture conditions are poor receiving no precipitation in the past week.

Fergus County - Boyd Heilig
We finished harvest last Friday. Poor crop all the way through. Yields were compared to 1985. Finally raining this morning. Hope to see some good totals this week. Moisture conditions are poor receiving 0" precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat and spring wheat. Hoppers are a problem.

Flathead County - Tryg Koch
Harvest is about 40% complete for most growers. Dryland Wheat yields are below average, and same with the peas. We have recieved some rain but only a 10th. Low test weights on just about all dry land wheat, 53-58lbs. Probably the worst winter wheat crop our farm has ever cut and the second worst spring wheat crop. Haven't got into any canola yet but I'm assuming yields will be lower than anticipated. The valley is sold out of hay which is very crazy for this time of year. Moisture conditions are poor receiving .1" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat, canola and hay.

Hill County - Wade Bitz
Harvest is mostly complete. Only Flax and Chickpeas to finish. Moisture conditions are fair receiving .5" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat, barley, peas, garbanzos, flax and camelina. Grasshoppers and sawflies are problems, as well as thistle, kochia and cheat, but not heavy pressure. Mostly finished harvesting.

Hill County - Eric Hanson
Our area is mostly cut out. A few crops holding onto some green and some big operators still chewing away at acres. But by and large, harvest is over. Reports of quality grain from spring crops, only yield being the lacking factor. The waves of hoppers, high heat, dusty winds, and heavy smoke have created a dystopian vision of life on the prairie the last few days. There are moments I feel I’m only a leather jacket and a blacked out 74 Ford falcon away from being in my own mad max film. A prairie fire took off on Sunday afternoon about 2 miles from the northern border. With red flag warnings out, the setting was perfect for this thing to run. Swift action from our area volunteer fire departments and local producers got it stopped rather quickly. Had we not stopped it where we did, it would have likely burned many more acres and gotten into the Milk River corridor. We’d probably still be fighting it. Thank you to everyone who helped and to everyone else in the state doing the same in your area. And thankfully, it appears cooler and wetter weather may be returning this week. Starting today, almost the entire state will be looking to receive some rain at some point this week. Let it rain. Moisture conditions are poor receiving 0" of precipitation in the past week. Mainly grasshoppers still a problem.

Hill County - Trevor Wolery
Left the harvest operation in the hands of grandpa, two teenage boys and the great mgga director named Eric from Gildford yesterday to take our daughter to Rocky. A lot of emotion yesterday since it was just the day before we brought her home as a newborn. You young farmers keep in mind that the work will always be there but these kids won’t. Man do I wish I had some of that time back. We finished mustard the night before. And now on the downhill slide of DNS. Neither was and will be a bin buster this year. Lots of miserable smoke the last few days with it being cooler today. Lots of sprayer work ahead and school starts tomorrow for mom and the boys. Once again, cherish those young kids, they grow up way too fast! Moisture conditions are fair receiving 0" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat, lentils and mustard. Hoppers, thistle and kochia are problems.

Judith Basin County - Greg Mathews
Barley harvest is about done except for the field that got some hail damage. Does not take long moving 6 to 7 mph. Only bright spot was this year I rolled all the barley ground and was able to cut it on the ground. Yields were around 15 bu and test weight around 48#. It only took 2 grain bins for the crop. Was nice to be able to see for 5 days until the smoke moved back in. The combine has another use this year, GRASSHOPPER CATCHER. Moisture conditions are poor receiving .23" of precipitation in the past week.

Liberty County - Craig Henke
Working on irrigated crops now, what a little extra water can do to make a normal crop. Feels like fall this morning, getting in mood to seed winter wheat. See a few outfits all hooked up and ready to go. Nice to see rain, will help green up stubble and maybe hold hoppers content for awhile. 2021 will go down in books as a black eye. Moisture conditions are fair receiving over an inch of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat, mustard and lentils. Hoppers and crickets are problems.

Liberty County - Sage Creek Colony
Dry conditions, drying good. Moisture conditions are poor receiving .8" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat, durum, barley, peas, lentils, garbanzos, hay and potatoes. No insects, weeds or diseases. 1/2 done with harvest.

Teton County - Mitch Konen
The bench has been a buzz with harvesting machines making passes back and forth taking the crops off the fields. The winter wheat has been harvested and malt barley has been the focus this past week. Spring wheat and canola are still fairly green yet but turning fast. Early reports is that we have average to better yields and quality. A lot of hay movement heading out of the local area with a second cutting getting closer every day. A lot of straw is being baled or rolled up as well, wheat and barley. Not much for barley straw on my farm as the crop is not very tall, knee high. Makes for fast harvesting, but not enough residue to make a bale. I am writing this report Wednesday morning as I have been busy trying to find parts for the combine that broke down on me late Monday night. Then it started raining Tuesday morning and continues today resulting in .71" as of this morning. Machine parts are getting very hard to find and are usually a couple days away after ordering. Hope they are the correct parts. The prairie grass is nothing but toothpicks sticking out of the ground and one puts his life in danger when driving down the roads or a ditch bank with the windows wide open, or on a bike, as the grasshoppers are getting big enough to leave a mark and fill up the cab. The mosquitoes have taken another level of aggressiveness when it cools down at night. So here I sit watching the weather go from one extreme to the other wondering just what the quality of my malt barley will be when it finishes raining, the bright spot for winter wheat seeding. Stay safe everyone. Moisture conditions are fair receiving .71" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are barley, peas and hay. Grasshoppers and mosquitoes are problems. Weeds, you name it, it's there. Will start harvesting again when it dries out.

Yellowstone/Big Horn County - Turk Stovall
Done. Sorghum was 100% failure. Hay was 10 to 20% of average production. Almost out of natural stock water. Relying on pipelines. Moisture conditions are poor receiving 0" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are hay and sorghum. Grasshoppers are a problem. Nothing to harvest.



AUGUST 10, 2021

Fergus County - Robert Bold
A lot has been happening here since last week's crop report. Winter wheat harvest is about wrapped up. There is a top report of 50 bu/ac on summer fallow. The average would be a disappointing 20 or so bushel average. Spring wheat and barley harvest is on with disappointing yields also. Pulse crops were short in height and yield. Hoppers are on the move. A week ago, we had the fire west of us raging on. The final report looks like 28,000+ acres with about 3,000+ on our side of the Judith River and 24,000+acres on the west side. No final report on the cause. A few interesting observations: The BLM as a rule does not allow equipment on the fire. The farmer and land owner part of the fire had 6 discs and 2 Cats on our side of the river and 3 discs and 2 Cats on the other side. When the fire got to a position of management, it was out. The BLM (Bureau of Land Management in this case) had a fire expert on site. The orders were to look up in the text book and start a back fire. The weather conditions were such that the back fire got away from them. Wa la! fire on both sides of the river. No one got hurt. 2 old structures and 5 other structures were lost. A report of 17 cattle. On our side of the river, the only crop lost was fire guards. (MCPI does not pay for crop loss due to fire.) Mostly timber and pasture lost. No vehicles or equipment lost. When Annette & I were visiting the twins in grad schools in Iowa, we saw fire flies. On this fire we saw fire hoppers. These grasshoppers on fire would come flying out of the fire with the majority of them never making it past the fire guards. Between 60 & 80 confirmed spot fires were beyond the fire guards. That kept a couple of fire trucks spotting and putting out hopper fires. A big special thanks to all the rural volunteer and county/city fire departments for their successful efforts and response. I saw rural fire departments from Winifred, Denton, Moore, Roy, Judith Gap, Hobson. Structure and other fire fighting trucks from Lewistown and Havre, BLM and all their units and DNRC trucks and personell. (Hopefully I did not forget anyone.) Private equipment for land owners, farmers & ranchers and construction companies were brought and deployed. I can not help but think what a devastation would have occurred in 1908 or 1936 when these resources were not available or yet even developed. Moisture conditions are poor receiving .5" of precipitation in the past week.

Flathead County - Tryg Koch
Harvest is under way! Winter wheat yields are down on the higher dryer ground along with test weights running in the 55# range. Irrigated wheat is going strong with average to slightly above average yields. There are a lot of canola wind rows out there now but nothing has been harvested yet. Peas and winter wheat are the main crops ready to go with spring wheat nipping at there heals. The valley is sold out of hay and that hasn't ever happened this early in the season. Going to be lots of straw baled up!! Moisture conditions are poor. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat, canola and hay. Just started harvesting.

Gallatin County - Matt Flikkema
Harvest underway on the dryland, irrigated crop just getting started. Dryland yields around 25 to 30 on winter wheat, barley maybe 5 bu better than the wheat. Test weight on wheat mid 50’s, barley is in the low 40’s. Personally I had very little grasshopper issues and the sawflys took a year off. Got a couple tenths of rain on Aug 2 and .4 Sunday evening, the first moisture since May 23. Moisture conditions are fair receiving .4" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat and barley. Finished harvesting.

Hill County - Eric Hanson
Short of a few small patches, harvest is all but done here at Next Year Farms. Every last kernel is in the bin or the elevator. Our earliest finish in history. Certainly not bragging there. Much like ripping off a bandage, it was fairly painful, but I’m glad it was quick and we can put this one behind us to some degree. I hope we don’t have another one like this. I will say, despite poor yields, they weren’t as bad as I thought they might be. Some were. Some weren’t. Overall, better than I had expected. With only 2.45-3.65” of rain in our growing season (and NONE of that coming in June), current practice and modern varieties are a testament to what we did harvest. Too much record heat and relentless wind really hurt the crops all season. It’s the same story or worse across the state so I’m preaching to the choir. Harvest is largely winding down in the area. Custom cutters have mostly packed up and moved on. We received some rain showers in the area over the last week that have brought harvest to a standstill. Anywhere from 2/10 to around 3” in a neighboring county, so very variable but welcome at any level. We had .4-.75” at different locations on our farm. And cooler weather. Would have really helped a month and half ago, but we need it for next year here in next year country. What a nice break in our pattern that has seemed non stop since May. Heat is on its way back though, nearly 100 this coming weekend for 2 or 3 days. I’ve visited with a lot of people in the community recently and this year is going to have some long lasting effects that are going to ripple into all facets of the communities we live in. Lots of concern from producers. Here’s to hanging on and hoping next year turns around for us all. Moisture conditions are poor receiving .4-.75" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat and peas.

Hill County - Trevor Wolery
Received 1.37 inches of rain Saturday night. Very grateful for it and will help immensely for the next crop. Finished the ww and cutters finished the lentils Friday. Have a 1/3 of our spring wheat acres harvested and mustard yet to harvest. Spring wheat has weighed 60# with the yield being a bit dismal. To be honest I am ready for next year and to be done with this one...frustrating year for how it started out. Everyone stay safe. Moisture conditions are fair receiving 1.37" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat, lentils and mustard. Todd's hoppers and Todd's weeds are problems.

Judith Basin County - Greg Mathews
Been a boring week waiting for the barley to ripen. Still can see some green that the hoppers have not found and do not know how it can still be green. WW harvest is about done in the area and sw is being cut and the barley should be started to be cut this coming week. A lot of hay moving down the highway to the east. Straw is being baled everywhere. Grasshoppers still showing up and getting thicker. A lot of cattle went to town last week (4000 plus). Should be another big number for the next sale. Have a safe harvest and fire free week. Moisture conditions are poor receiving .11" of precipitation in the past week. Hoppers and Mormon crickets are problems.



AUGUST 3, 2021

Blaine County - Gene Billmayer
Harvest is 2 weeks, 3 weeks ahead of normal because of severe drought. SW 20 to 25 bushels, 55 pound. Moisture conditions are poor receiving .02" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat, durum, barley, canola and camelina. Grasshoppers are severe, kochia is a problem.

Broadwater County - Franck Groeneweg
Fast and very dry. Started harvesting a week ago, our best winter wheat is going 15bpa about half of what it looks. Yellow peas, 5bpa, very short. After 70 days without precipitation we got 0.75” giving us a bit of hope to seed some fall crops. Moisture conditions are poor receiving .7" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat, peas, garbanzos, canola, flax and sunflower. Some grasshoppers, but not horrible, Russian thistles and no diseases. Started harvest July 26th.

Chouteau County - Kathi Geyer
Early, dry, low yields. Early contracts are killing us. FBN's pea contract, we don't have the grain to fill it and FBN is forcing us to purchase peas to fill their contract at current prices. So not only are we not receiving the higher current price on the few peas we harvested, we are having to purchase peas at the higher price to fill it. Their contract is very deceiving, No Act of God protection for the grower! Their Act of God clause protects them, the buyer, not the seller. Very upsetting! Moisture conditions are poor receiving 0" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat, durum and peas. No insects, weeds or diseases. WW is done. Spring wheat and durum will start next week. Peas after that.

Chouteau County - Dan Works
Most of the winter wheat in this area is in the bin. Spring wheat harvest is well under way as well. After the big hail storm of July 11 there weren’t as many acres to be harvested. Moisture conditions are poor receiving .32" August 2. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat, durum, barley, garbanzos and mustard. Grasshoppers! I have pure bred available for the taking! Come get 'em please.

Fergus County - Robert Bold
Another hot dry July week. Even though this July is fresh on everyone's mind for being hot, it was only the 4th hottest on record with 1908 and 1936 coming in at 1 & 2. Oh well, if there are 50 & 100 year floods, we can have a 35 year drought. Winter wheat yields top out at 45 on fallow. Some yields are coming in at 8 to 15. (Cutting acres on bushels). It appears there are about 3 varieties of winter wheat this year. Very little of the barley left for grain has been harvested to date. The hoppers have thinned it out so that it looks like cattle were in it. Some barley fields have been thinned by 75%. On another note, not having consulted with the History Dean at Ed.Unvi@BigS.MT, I will try to wing recalling some of the other drought years--like 85 & 88. In August 85 we got 7 inches of day after day rain. In 88, it started raining Labor Day weekend and in 13 months we got over 27 inches of moisture. Oh yes, a hopper update: The hoppers here are not growing. Under nourished due to their own over grazing. (Poor little bastards). We have had 4 days of east wind and we now have "lost" over half our hoppers. They are on their way west--to Tryg's. Or they could possibly stop by Grasshopper Glacier and freshen it up a bit. As you may know, there is the Bear Springs fire just west of us and north of Denton in Wolf Creek. The report this morning, 10,000 acres burned, 0% containment. When the fire comes up on top, farmers with water and discs get it out. As long as the fire stays down in Wolf Creek, it is near impossible to contain or fight by ground efforts. Hope this is the only one for the year for us. Hope no one else has one. Have a good harvest and stay safe!! Received no precipitation in the past week. Crops being grown are Kochia.

Fergus County - Boyd Heilig
Finished the winter wheat this weekend and started on the spring wheat. Was pleasantly surprised that the test weight was 57# and yields weren’t too bad. Low 20’s. Moisture conditions are poor receiving 0" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat and spring wheat. Grasshoppers are a problem.

Flathead County - Tryg Koch
Harvest has just begun, yields are not terrible on the dry land winter wheat but the test weights are lower than expected. I have heard from 50 to 58 lbs. Guys are still haying and second cutting is well under way but the yields are very small unless it is irrigated hay ground. Moisture conditions are poor receiving not much for precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat, canola and hay. Beginning harvest this week.

Gallatin County - Glenn Droge
Ahead of schedule. Moisture conditions are poor. Crops are spring wheat, barley, peas, potatoes and garlic. Grasshoppers are a problem, many weeds and very few diseases. Started harvest July 24th.

Garfield County - Scott Glasscock
We finished our spring wheat yesterday, and lentils is all we have left. So we should be done by the weekend. The winter and spring wheat did ok considering the year. The pulse crops not so good, about a quarter of a crop. This has been a very challenging and troublesome year, no doubt about it. It's easy to get discouraged, but we had a neighbor pass away last week unexpectedly, and it makes you stop and think about what is important in life. This drought and grasshopper infestation will pass. The people around you and the relationships you have with them last forever. When we think we are going through a rough time, just stop and realize it could always be worse. I am glad our farming practices have gotten better over the years, and glad for better farming technology. It allowed us to have somewhat of a crop with little to no moisture. Moisture conditions are poor receiving 0" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat, peas, lentils, corn and hay. Grasshoppers are a problem, no weeds and no diseases. Almost done with harvest.

Hill County - Eric Hanson
August. Feels like we’ve been in it for a month already. Harvest continues. We had an early start, lots of heat, and no weather delays. All this along with severe drought reducing yields, has provided an almost leisurely pace. Tire tread on the trucks will report minimal wear. No feathering of flightings in augers. Grain cart drivers catching up on sleep. Bins unswept. We are almost finished with our spring wheat, and the evidence of our bounty is that of anticipated expectation. Had we not been on the edge of green for the past 7 days, we would have been close to having combines out of a job in July. That would have been a first. If I wasn’t living it, I’d think it was a far fetched tale of yesteryear. Powdered up roads, big cracks in the soil, brown stunted grass; everywhere you look you are reminded of what we’ve been through this year. I went to spray our last acres of chemfallow that was holding well and hadn’t had a second pass. I didn’t even have to mix up. Hoppers had eaten almost every weed and oat plant out there. Might be the only time I’ve ever had a slight appreciation for a grasshopper. The migration of this growing infestation out of our spring wheat as we cut it has been something to behold. I can already see how the rest of summer and fall will unfold with these hungry pests. Big kochia are being consumed to red skeletons on field edges. It’s unbelievable. I hope these hoppers start cycling out. A fair amount of straw is going into bales for anyone willing to give it up on our light soils. It’s a steady stream of trucks stacked with straw and hay headed east on HWY 2. Rain returned yesterday evening. It had been 73 days with only one minor rain event in there. It wasn’t a lot, but it’s a start. Settled some dust. The outlook up here has been bleak. Somber faces and humble voices continue to grow in the community. It’s a trying time in Ag around these parts. We need more rain. It can start snowing. We would take anything at this point. Moisture conditions are poor receiving .3" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat and peas. Grasshoppers, blister beetles and biting flies are problems and all the weeds.

Hill County - Hilldale Colony
Mostly done harvesting. Moisture conditions are poor receiving 0" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat, barley, peas, lentils, mustard and flax. Grasshoppers, falsechinch bugs and lygus bugs are problems. All the regular weeds and none really for diseases. Started harvest on June 15th.

Hill County - Devon Miller
Winter wheat is mostly cut. We enjoyed a good rain shower Monday night with 0.4 inches and will begin spring wheat harvest in Hill County this week. Spring wheat is showing good quality, but poor yield much like the winter wheat. Moisture conditions are poor receiving .4" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat and flax. Grasshoppers are a problem. Started harvest on July 19th.

Judith Basin County - Greg Mathews
WW harvest did not take very long, 4 1/2 days. Test weight was good considering 59 to 59 1/2 pounds, 14 to 15 protein and 28 to 35 bushels on summer fallow and recrop with some hail damage was around the 12 bushel with half of the field damaged badly. The yield on the hoppers is growing every day and the sky is the limit, but have not found a market for them yet. Any ideas? Apparently Bob Bold did not get the wall up. Harvest of WW is all over the place as some are finished to some just about to start. Barley needs a few days to finish turning. Some spring wheat has been harvested but did not hear weight or yield, but would guess another disappointment. Straw is being baled up everywhere they can make a windrow and some there is nothing but dust and very small pieces and cannot even pick up. Moisture conditions are poor receiving .01" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, barley and hay.

Liberty County - Craig Henke
Ready for first frost and a wet fall. Brings back too many memories of those dry years. All winter wheat done, with yields 30-35 where hail didn't hit. Most pulse crops not much there. Most running into green in spring wheat, been quite a year. Had wild storm, anywhere from 3/10 to 2.5 inches. Was on last water on pivots, but shut down with rain. Moisture conditions are fair receiving .3 to 2.5" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, spring wheat, lentils and mustard. Lots of crickets and hoppers moving north as things dry out.

Teton County - Mitch Konen
Crops are maturing quickly. Well irrigated areas, under pivots, are a little slower in turning. Neighboring dryland areas of winter wheat are harvested with some of the irrigated winter wheat being sampled or taken. Hay barley is in the process of being rolled up or baled. My peas should be ready to go tomorrow and the early barley shouldn't be too far behind it. Getting a few t-storms here and there that mostly go around us leaving very little moisture. Crops look to be average at this time for this area. Couldn't tell if it was smoke or fog this morning, but visibility is limited to about 4 miles. 60 degrees with 90% humidity after big monsoonal rains split and went around us. Moisture conditions are fair receiving .11" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are barley, peas and hay. Grasshoppers and mosquitoes are problems. Weeds, you name it, it's there. Expect to begin harvest soon.

Teton County - Elias Wipf
Done harvesting. Moisture conditions are poor receiving 0" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, barley, peas, mustard and lentils. Grasshoppers are a problem and weeds are not too bad.

Yellowstone/Stillwater County - Michelle Jones
Wrapped up winter wheat harvest. Malt barley was cut and baled (or zeroed and sprayed out) a few weeks ago. Winter wheat yield was mid to upper 20s. Haven’t heard anything higher than that. The pleasant surprise was test weight. Lowest we saw was 58. Most was 59-60. Protein all above 14. So at least we have quality I guess. Safflower was in rough shape - guessing the heat last week didn’t help it at all. But what the heat doesn’t take the hoppers likely will. We don’t have the population we had last year but still plenty. Drought conditions are serious. Not sure how we’re not in D3+ - I submit weekly reports and thankfully part of both counties is in D3 so LFP and other disaster aid is on the table for ranchers. Hay certainly in short supply. The winter wheat was pretty short - but we’re still considering cutting some of our stripper straw to bale because of the high demand. Make up for our low hay production. Moisture conditions are poor receiving 0" of precipitation in the past week. Crops are winter wheat, barley, safflower and hay. Grasshoppers are a problem. Done with harvest.