wheat planting

Warmer, drier weather has allowed more farmers to get their wheat planted. 

Not much progress was made over the week when it comes to planting MonDak crops, with temperatures falling below freezing many nights.

North Dakota spring wheat is now 22 percent planted and durum wheat is just 10 percent in the ground, both of which are slightly ahead of five year averages.

Montana, similarly has planted 20 percent of its spring wheat and 8 percent of its durum, but those figures are slightly behind five-year averages.

Nationwide, 28 percent of spring wheat is in the ground, which is also ahead of average.

Meanwhile 77 percent of winter wheat has broken dormancy in the region. Unfortunately, with the drought, a significant percentage in North Dakota at least is rated poor to very poor — 54 percent — and just 12 percent is rated good to excellent. The condition of the crop appears better in Montana, with 53 percent rated good to excellent.

Crops are very slow to emerge right now due to dry soil conditions and continued cool temperatures. Rain has been in the forecast recently for the Williston region, but didn’t make it as far north as forecasters had predicted. It brought only 4 one-hundredths of an inch of precipitation.

There’s yet another chance for rain predicted Sunday into Monday, with a system that looks like it will move more directly through most of North Dakota. That could alleviate the situation if it occurs — but more timely rains will be needed to continue supporting crop growth with the soil profile so dry.

Moisture deficits have continued to spread across North Dakota, turning more than two-thirds of it deep red on the U.S. Drought Monitor map. Only the very southeastern tip of the state isn’t in a drought category — but is still listed as abnormally dry.

In Montana, the eastern edge of the state lies in extreme drought, and that includes nearly all of Richland and Roosevelt counties.

Here’s a look at planting progress for other crops:

Barley is 14 percent planted in North Dakota, ahead of 2 percent last year and the 6 percent average, and it’s 28 percent planted in Montana, just head of the five-year 24 percent average and last year’s 21 percent.

North Dakota canola, meanwhile is 1 percent planted, near 2 percent both last year and on average. In Montana, canola is 10 percent in the ground, which is slightly behind the five-year 10 percent average, but ahead of last year’s 2 percent.

North Dakota corn is 3 percent planted, near the 2 percent average, while in Montana, corn is 5 percent planted, behind the five-year 7 percent average and ahead of last year’s 1 percent.

Montana dry edible beans are 5 percent planted, ahead of last year’s 1 percent but slightly behind the five-year 6 percent average.

Dry edible peas are 8 percent planted in North Dakota, ahead of 1 percent last year and near the five-year 7 percent average, and 23 percent planted in Montana, which is well ahead of last year’s 10 percent, but well behind the five-year 31 percent average.

Flaxseed is 1 percent planted, near the 2 percent average, in North Dakota, while in Montana it’s 13 percent planted, slightly behind the five-year 14 percent average.

Montana’s lentils, meanwhile, are 18 percent in the ground, which is ahead of the five-year 17 percent average, and well ahead of last year’s 2 percent.

Oats are 7 percent planted in North Dakota, near 3 percent last year and the five-year 9 percent average. In Montana, oats are 9 percent planted, ahead of last year’s 6 percent, but behind the five-year 15 percent average.

North Dakota potatoes are 4 percent planted, near the 1 percent average.

Montana safflower is 1 percent planted, same as the five-year average.

Sugarbeets are 15 percent planted in North Dakota, ahead of 1 percent last year, but near the five-year 19 percent average. They are 12 percent planted in Montana, which is behind the five-year 20 percent average but ahead of last year’s 8 percent.

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