Wheat Farmers Facing Smallest Crop Since 1919

Aug 28, 2017

Many wheat farmers facing low prices have turned this year to other crops, including chickpeas and lentils, in hopes of turning a profit.
Credit Neha Viswanathan / Flickr Creative Commons

Montana farmers planted fewer acres of wheat this year than they have in the past, thanks to significantly lower prices last year for the crop.

This year’s crop across the country is just under 46 million acres, the smallest since 1919.

Despite the drought and low prices for wheat, there is some good news for Montana wheat farmers, says Vice President of Montana Wheat and Barley Committee Collin Watters.

“The Montana crops is looking good – really good quality-wise, although we are definitely seeing decreases in yield potential due to drought, and definitely seeing significant reduction too in acreage, and that’s primarily due to prices that we saw in the fall, last fall, and in the spring,” says Watters.

Watters says the continuing drought will determine how problematic the next planting season will be. 

“Especially looking at the fall seeding conditions and we’ll see how the market responds," says Watters. "But we’re definitely optimistic prices will improve and we get some rain here soon.

Some level of drought- moderate, severe, extreme or exceptional, now covers nearly 90 percent of the state.