BILLINGS — In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the USDA recently released an important crop report that details which crops Montana farmers intend to plant this year and why.
The 2020 USDA Prospective Plantings Report did reveal that Montana farmers are intending to plant the highest number of spring wheat acres since 2002. The Montana Wheat and Barley Committee’s Executive Vice President Cassidy Marn says last fall’s wet planting conditions are a good reason why.
“We anticipated a big spring wheat number just because we weren't able to get the winter wheat in that we wanted to last fall” said Marn. “But it is a big number. 3.3 million acres is a lot of spring wheat acres for us.”
She says the inability to plant winter wheat last fall is also why Montana farmers intend to plant the highest barley acreage since 2003.
“We're up over a million acres expected for barley acreage, and that's if we see that through, it's going to be our highest barley acreage since 2003” said Marn. “So that's a pretty, pretty substantial increase.”
As for other highlights, Montana farmers intend to plant 570,000 acres of durum this year which if realized would be up 20,000 acres from 2019.
Nationally, U.S. wheat farmers intend to plant 44.7 million acres of wheat which if realized would be the lowest all-wheat plantings since 1919.