Montana crop production highlights

Based on Oct. 1 conditions, canola production in Montana is forecast at 116.80 million pounds, up 17 percent from the 2016 crop, according to the Oct. 1 Agricultural Yield Survey conducted by the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Acreage harvested is expected to total 146,000 acres, up 86,000 acres from the 60,000 harvested last year.

Canola yield is forecast at 800 pounds per acre, down from 1,670 pounds per acre last year. If realized, this will be the lowest canola yield since records began in 1999.

Alfalfa hay production in Montana is forecast to total 3.15 million tons this year, down from the 3.60 million tons produced in 2016.

Montana farmers and ranchers expect to harvest 1.75 million acres of alfalfa hay this year, down 50,000 from 2016. Alfalfa hay yield is expected to average 1.80 tons per acre, compared with last year’s yield of 2.00 tons per acre and the Aug. 1 forecast of 1.80 tons per acre. Producers expect to harvest 950,000 acres of other hay in 2017, up 100,000 acres from last year. Other hay production is forecast at 1.33 million tons, down 13 percent from 1.53 million tons a year ago. Other hay yield is expected to average 1.40 tons per acre, compared with last year’s yield of 1.80 tons per acre and the Aug. 1 forecast of 1.40 tons per acre.

Sugarbeet production in Montana is forecast at 1.43 million tons, down 10 percent from the 1.59 million tons produced in 2016. Growers expect to harvest 42,500 acres this year compared with 45,300 a year ago. Yields are expected to average 33.6 tons per acre, down 0.7 ton per acre from the Sept. 1 forecast and down from last year’s yield of 35.0 tons per acre. As of Oct. 1, Montana’s sugarbeet crop condition was rated 2 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 49 percent fair, 34 percent good and 5 percent excellent.

Dry bean production for 2017 is forecast at 2.86 million hundredweight, up 77 percent from the 1.61 million hundredweight produced a year earlier. Yields are expected to average 1,100 pounds per acre, down 200 pounds per acre from the Aug. 1 forecast and down from 1,620 pounds per acre last year. Growers expect to harvest 260,000 acres this year, up 160,500 acres from the 99,500 acres harvested last year.

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