Commodity prices rose as a result
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
American spring wheat producers find themselves battling drought-like conditions as the summer progresses.
More than half of the state of Montana, for example, is experiencing some level of drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
And almost 13 percent of the state is experiencing levels of extreme drought, which is beginning to damage the spring wheat crop.
Half of Montana’s spring wheat crop was rated poor to very poor in last week’s USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin.
And with temperatures in the state expected to stay above 80 F until next Monday, growers are discussing the potential damages.
“Three weeks ago, we got a report from a farmer who submitted the lyrics to ‘The Party’s Over,’” Lola Raska, executive vice president of the Montana Grain Growers Association, told the Billings Gazette.
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Spring wheat in the Dakotas is also struggling as temperatures soar.
More than 93 percent of North Dakota and 90 percent of South Dakota is experiencing levels of drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
4 percent of South Dakota and 29 percent of North Dakota is seeing extreme drought conditions.
Early weather reports indicate temperatures in both states could stay above 83 F until Monday.
Some producers have decided to salvage what they can early.
Craig Schaunaman, a farmer from Aberdeen, South Dakota, told the Watertown Public Opinion his yield expectations are around five bushels of wheat per acre.
As a result, he harvested early to use the crops for forage.
With dry conditions impacting spring wheat, commodity prices have gone up.
Since May, spring wheat prices have increased from about $4 per bushel to $8 per bushel.
September 2017 spring wheat futures are about $7.80 per bushel as of mid-day Monday.
“The reason (crop prices) is going up is we have threat of a crop failure in our backyard, especially with spring wheat,” Travis Antonsen, grain origination manager for Wheat Growers, told the Watertown Public Opinion.