BILLINGS — The Montana Department of Agriculture is asking farmers to participate in the upcoming Wheat and Barley Varieties Survey conducted by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Montana Wheat & Barley Committee executive vice president Cassidy Marn says this year’s varieties survey will give their breeding program unique and widespread insight into the characteristics that are truly important to Montana farmers.
“In general, we are trying to find out what varieties producers are putting in the ground,” said Marn. “We like to be able to track those trends and actually get some acreage percentages. On top of that, we also have some new questions asking what kind of decisions go into picking specific varieties.”
She says with end-use quality driving markets around the world, Montana can maintain a competitive edge by utilizing survey results to guarantee crop quality and improve production.
“Montana wheat and barley is pretty important in the world of small grains,” said Marn. “Our buyers and end-users look at this survey every year. They track these trends. They call us and request samples of new varieties they haven't seen on that list before. They want to get them in the lab and know how they're going to perform and what they have to look forward to as the years progress.”
USDA NASS will begin contacting Montana farmers by phone at the end of May to collect data for June survey reports, then continue compiling information through mid-July.
The Wheat and Barley Varieties Survey is one of many initiatives led by the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee to promote research, marketing, and education for the benefit of Montana producers.