Widespread rains helped boost
the condition of Montana’s winter
wheat crop last week, though
the effects of this spring’s dry
windy weather remained evident
in some fields, a federal agriculture
agency and statistician
Topsoil moisture conditions
moved from 69 percent adequate
to surplus to 76 percent rated as
such as of Sunday, Montana’s
branch of the National
Agricultural Statistics Service
stated in its weekly crop report.
That’s still well behind last year,
when 95 percent rated adequate
Subsoil moisture conditions,
which also improved during the
week, were comparable to last
year, the agency reported.
Twenty-one percent of the
state’s winter wheat was considered
excellent last week, up from
9 percent the week before, the
agency said. Sixty-eight percent
rated fair to good and 11 percent
poor to very poor.
Thomas Chard, an agricultural
statistician for the agency,
said that while rains last week
were fairly widespread, some
areas didn’t receive as much or
were otherwise still experiencing
the effects of the recent warm,
Meanwhile, the progress of
most of the spring planted crops
was comparable to last year, if
not ahead. For example, 7 percent
of durum and 14 percent of
oats already were in boot stage
last week, the agency reported.
It did not have figures for those
categories for this time last year.
Twelve percent of spring
wheat was in boot, which was
behind last year but ahead of the
five-year average, the agency
reported. Farmers were nearing
the end of their durum planting.
Farmers also began cutting
hay. The first cutting of alfalfa,
for the week, was 9 percent complete,
according to the agency.