Pivot ag wheat

A pivot stands idle in a field of grain near Belgrade. 

Spring wheat production in Montana is forecast at 85.00 million bushels, up 6 percent from the July 1 forecast but down 11 percent from the 95.88 million bushels produced last year, the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service reported. Estimated acreage for harvest, at 2.50 million acres, is down 320,000 acres from the 2.82 million acres harvested in 2018. As of August 1, the average yield is forecast at 34.0 bushels per acre, 2.0 bushels per acre above the July 1 forecast and unchanged from last year’s final yield.

Across the U.S., spring wheat production for grain is forecast at 597 million bushels, down 1 percent from the previous forecast and down 4 percent from 2018. Based on August 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 49.2 bushels per harvested acre, up 2.0 bushels from the previous forecast, and up 0.9 bushel from 2018. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 12.1 million acres, unchanged from the previous forecast, but down 6 percent from 2018.

Montana barley production is forecast at 38.07 million bushels, up 15 percent from the July 1 forecast and up 13 percent from last year’s crop. Area for harvest in 2019, at 705,000 acres, is up 105,000 acres from the 600,000 acres harvested last year. Barley yield is forecast at 54.0 bushels per acre, up 7.0 bushels per acre from the July 1 forecast but 2.0 bushels per acre below last year.

American barley production is forecast at 172 million bushels, up 1 percent from the previous forecast and up 12 percent from 2018. Based on conditions as of August 1, the average yield for the United States is forecast at 73.9 bushels per acre, up 0.6 bushel from the previous forecast but down 3.5 bushels from 2018. Area harvested for grain, is forecast at 2.33 million acres, unchanged from the previous forecast, but up 18 percent from 2018.

Winter wheat production in the state is forecast at 88.80 bushels, up 4 percent from the July 1 forecast and up 13 percent from the 78.50 million bushels produced last year. Estimated acreage for harvest, at 1.85 million acres, is 280,000 acres more than the 1.57 million acres harvested in 2018. As of August 1, the average yield is forecast at 48.0 bushels per acre, up 2.0 bushels per acre from the July 1 forecast but 2.0 bushels per acre below last year’s record final yield.

United States winter wheat production for grain is forecast at 1.33 billion bushels, up 3 percent from the previous forecast and up 12 percent from 2018. Based on August 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 53.2 bushels per harvested acre, up 1.4 bushels from last month, and up 5.3 bushels from 2018. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 24.9 million acres, unchanged from the previous forecast, but up 1 percent from 2018.

Montana farmers and ranchers expect to harvest 2.00 million acres of alfalfa hay this year, up 100,000 acres from 2018. They also expect to harvest 900,000 acres of other hay in 2019, down 100,000 acres from last year. Alfalfa production is forecast at 4.60 million tons, up 18 percent from 3.90 million tons produced in 2018. Other hay production is forecast at 1.62 million tons, down 5 percent from 1.70 million tons produced a year ago. Yields are expected to average 2.30 tons per acre for alfalfa and 1.80 tons per acre for other hay, compared to last year’s yields of 2.05 tons per acre for alfalfa hay and 1.70 tons per acre for other hay.

U.S. farmers’ production of alfalfa and alfalfa mixture dry hay for 2019 is forecast at 55.4 million tons, up 5 percent from 2018. Based on August 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 3.29 tons per acre, up 0.12 ton from last year. Harvested area is forecast at 16.8 million acres, unchanged from the June forecast, but up 1 percent from 2018.

Production of other hay across the nation is forecast at 75.7 million tons, up 7 percent from 2018. Based on August 1 conditions, the United States yield is expected to average 2.11 tons per acre, up 0.15 ton from last year. If realized, this would represent a new record high for the United States, surpassing the previous record of 2.09 tons per acre in 2016. Harvested area is forecast at 35.9 million acres, unchanged from the June forecast, but down 1 percent from 2018.