Winter Wheat Outlook

Following record-breaking heat over the summer, fall has arrived and the winter wheat planting season is now underway.

Winter Wheat Outlook

Following record-breaking heat over the summer, fall has arrived and the winter wheat planting season is now underway. Montana ranks third among the wheat-producing states in the United States. The wheat is grown in nearly all the counties in Montana, on close to 9,000 wheat farms, with the largest grain-producing area in the north-central area of the state.

Winter wheat is planted in late August or early September in order to give it time to form both a good root system and the beginnings of shoots before the cold weather sets in. Sometimes Mother Nature creates a sense of urgency to planting time, but hurrying may do more harm than good. Currently top of mind for many Montanans is the 2022 Old Farmer’s Almanac winter forecast that warns of one of the longest and coldest winters that we’ve seen in years with above-average snowfall expected from eastern Montana southward through the western halves of the Dakotas and into northeastern Colorado.

Close up of wheat with the sun shining behind it on a Montana ranch

According to market analysts, wheat futures received yet another big boost after the U.S. Department of Agriculture lowered its all-wheat and winter-wheat production estimates by 3%, after months of steady gains in spring wheat futures and an impressive upward shift in winter wheat futures since mid-July. Much of the decrease in production estimates are based on lower estimates for a hard red winter wheat crop.

What does all of this mean for Montana ranchers and farmers? Navigating today’s weather forecasts and complex markets is not an easy task. There are numerous reports available online such as state statistics that provide crop progress and conditions as well as reports similar to The Hightower Report which offers a variety of daily commodity research subscriptions and commodity trading guides and calendars. For more info visit

Close up of wheat with mountains in the background on a Montana ranch

According to the Western Wheat Initiative, an initiative promoting and educating farmers about the many reasons including a winter wheat crop can be beneficial, marketing flexibility is just one of the many benefits winter wheat provides to growers. Winter wheat offers the potential for early movement, timely cash flow during harvest, and efficient use of storage. Producers can make better marketing decisions by knowing what markets are available plus the standards and marketing details associated with each market option. Winter wheat has three market options: milling, feed, and ethanol. Learn more by visiting their site here.

We’re looking forward to hearing about high yields and good returns from Montana ranchers and farmers.

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The information contained herein was obtained from sources deemed to be reliable. Western Ranch Brokers makes no warranties or guarantees as to the completeness or accuracy thereof.
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