Wheat Harvest Stands Strong - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Wheat Harvest Stands Strong

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Some farmers in the Treasure State are feeling a big sense of relief lately.

Rain apparently is bringing good fortune to farmers in southeast Montana. This year's rainfall is yielding a better quality and quantity of winter wheat crop. Just last year third generation Molt farmers, of Downs farms, were discouraged because of the lack of rain. But now, they're on the upswing.

"We got that rain in May and that kind of saved us there," says Bill Downs.

This season the Downs family farmers are happy to report a much better harvest on their 2,800 acre farm.

"It turns out we're going to have a pretty good crop, we got some rains in late spring there which helped a lot during heading so we'll just have to wait and see how it turns out," says William Downs.

Downs farmers say last year they harvested around 20 bushels per acre of winter wheat. This year four inches of rainfall will bring a larger harvest.

"This crop here, we're aiming for fifty," says William Downs.

The downs family will begin harvesting malt barley soon and hard red winter wheat soon after. And now, they're hoping for the remainder of the summer to be fairly dry. But as always, it's never a sure thing in farming. Downs farmers say in addition to winter wheat, Montana farmers are becoming one of the largest growers of malt barley, largely because farmers in the Dakotas are turning more towards farming soybeans.