Highlights from the 2020 Montana Wheat and Barley Survey


We just finalized this year’s Wheat and Barley Survey Report, which Anton Bekkerman and I have been running for the past three years with funding from the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee and survey administration from the MSU HELPS Lab.  This year we also had help from MSU DAEE Master’s student Rebecca Kaiser.

I posted about some select questions from that survey last month but you can read it all at the MWBC website.  (If you click the link and don’t see the survey, scroll down. Other years are available there as well.)

A few highlights from this year’s survey:

Overall, Warhorse, Vida, Alzada, and Metcalf were the top varieties for winter wheat, spring wheat, durum, and barley, respectively.  All of these top varieties increased in terms of share.  Warhorse (winter wheat) and Alzada (durum) saw the largest increases in percentage of total acres planted in those categories.  You can also see those breakdowns by region of the state in the image above (click to see the whole image), or for more detail, in the full report.

Winter WheatSpring WheatDurum WheatBarley
Keldin9.8%SY Ingmar8.6%Joppa22.5%Hockett25.6%
Yellowstone9.7%SY Soren6.1%Tioga10.9%Haybet6.6%
Brawl CL Plus3.7%Reeder6.1%Kyle6.1%Haxby4.1%
Decade2.9%Brennan4.9%Mountrail4.7%Bill Coors 1003.6%
Northern2.8%WB Gunnison4.4%Other7.3%Other12.9%
CDC Falcon2.2%Lanning3.9%
SY Clearstone1.3%Mott1.7%


–We also asked about important factors in making seed choices.  (We asked this question last year, but used some different categories this year based on feedback.) This year, yield, protein, disease resistance generally and resistance to wheat stem sawfly in particular, final product quality, and the cost of certified seed (CSO) factors ranked most important.

 We asked a number of other questions—about trade dispute impacts, effectiveness of the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), and changes in crop rotations, among others.  I’ll likely cover them in another post, or you can read up on them now in the report.

This post was written with Anton Bekkerman and DAEE MS Student Rebecca Kaiser.


About Author

Kate Binzen Fuller is an assistant professor and extension specialist in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University. She holds an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. Her extension and research program focuses on the economics of farm management decisions, including USDA programs and policies, pest and disease responses, and issues surrounding leasing and land values. Kate’s extension program takes her on the road often, resulting in a rapidly expanding knowledge and appreciation for Montana’s interstates, highways, and (especially) gravel roads.

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