Montana farmers to plant less wheat, more legumes


USDA Prospective Plantings Reports summaries from across our region:

Montana:  Bad weather last fall and declining prices have Montana's farmers planning to plant fewer acres of wheat this growing season.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Montana farmers seeded 100,000 fewer acres of winter wheat and plan to seed about 250,000 fewer acres of spring wheat while increasing durum acres by 145,000. The Billings Gazette reports wheat plantings are expected to decline by a total of 205,000 acres. However, the 5.78 million acres of wheat to be planted is still more than the 5.4 million acres planted in 2013.
The USDA's Prospective Plantings Report, released Tuesday, indicates state farmers plan to plant a record 570,000 acres in dry edible peas and 180,000 acres of lentils. Both crops return nitrogen to the soil, decreasing fertilizer bills for future wheat crops.
Barley acres are expected to remain the same at 920,000.

South Dakota:  South Dakota's corn and soybean crops are expected to follow the national trend this year.

The federal Agriculture Department says South Dakota corn acres are expected to drop 10 percent from last year, but soybean acres should match last year's record.

That scenario is expected to play out nationwide, as the profit potential for corn remains low due to slumping prices. More farmers are favoring soybeans because they cost less to grow and market prices haven't fallen as quickly as for corn.

South Dakota farmers this year are expected to plant more acres of durum wheat, barley, hay and flaxseed. Acres of sunflowers, sorghum and dry edible beans are expected to be down from last year. Acres of spring wheat and oats in the state are projected to be unchanged.

North Dakota:  North Dakota farmers this year are expected to plant more wheat and sugar beets but less corn and soybeans.

The federal Agriculture Department projects the size of the state's spring wheat crop to be up 1 percent and the durum wheat crop to be up 4 percent from last year. Farmers intend to plant 4 percent more sugar beets.

Soybean acres are expected to drop 2 percent from last year's record, and corn acres are projected to be down 4 percent over the year.

The state's dry edible bean and hay crops also are expected to drop in size. But North Dakota farmers are expected to plant more sunflowers, barley, dry peas, lentils, flaxseed and oats. Canola acres are projected to be unchanged.


CLICK HERE for the full USDA Prospective Plantings Report



Source:  Associated Press and USDA

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