The bad drought this year has hit farmers and ranchers hard all across the state. That news was something that came up frequently as we travelled Montana for our "Hometown Handshake" tour.

We caught up with a couple Montana Wheat and Barley Committee members during the tour. Rep. Llew Jones (R-Conrad) joined us from Frontline Ag in Conrad. Terry Angvick joined us from Cousins Restaurant in Plentywood.

Angvick is a former board member for the Montana Grain Growers Association. He also served as the Sheridan County Extension Agent for over 30 years.

You can listen to the full audio below as we talk about the highlights from the latest Wheat and Barley Committee meeting with Angvick.

Here's a couple of the highlights from our conversation that stood out to me. First is the massive decline in wheat production in Montana in the past year. Angvick told me we normally produce 200-250 million bushels of wheat in Montana each year. This year we only produced about 100 million bushels.

The other thing that stood out to me was the price of pulse crops, especially last week when I rolled through Scobey and Plentywood. Terry Farver with Farver Farms in Scobey told me some pulse crops were over $20 a bushel. Terry told me that some Northeastern Montana farmers, even though they produced more crops last year than this year due to the drought, may end up coming out even due to higher prices.

Angvick agreed:

When you're looking at $6 to 15 or $16 a bushel, that's quite an increase. So with our production here in this particular county, I think most of our production was about 30 to 40% of what we would call a normal crop. And so, once again, with prices two times higher it's about the same...the revenue will be the same or maybe even a little bit better. So, I guess- we hang on.

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