Posted: Nov 3, 2013 4:04 PM by Jason Laird - MTN News
BILLINGS - A year of extremes can safely sum up much of the 2013 growing season - and with such a drastic swing of the pendulum, one of Montana's major industries has felt the pressure.
Farmer across the Big Sky have seen quite a variety of weather-related crop damages this year, including hail damage, sever drought, and periods of heavy rainfall.
MSU AG Extension reports that wheat crops did take a hit from hail this growing season, but recovered fairly well leaving most farmers with average or better crops. Corn crops were in a similar state - although crop numbers were down, prices remained high.
Beet crops were the hardest hit, both by the weather related and in the market. Hail storms damaged the crops repeatedly throughout the growing season, and market prices have been low.
"As far as which crop got hurt the worst, I don't know if I can answer that and tell you any specific one crop because there were such a mix," said Yellowstone County Extension Agent Steve Lackman.
"Whether you did good or bad depended on whether you were in front of the hail storm. You could do real well and your neighbor maybe get clobbered," he added.
Lackman also said cut worms hit local farmers hard this past year, killing large amounts for crops.