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What Youll See Here AGRICULTURE IS MONTANAS 1 INDUSTRY Playing a vital role in the Billings economy agriculture is Montanas number one industry. Billings helps maintain that statistic livestock auctions agriculture supply stores and well maintained roads help support farmers and ranchers in a large radius of the region. A diverse climate and fertile soil help Montana farmers and ranchers produce a wide variety of high quality food products. While beef and wheat are the two largest commodities many other products contribute to the states agriculture including corn barley sugar beets cattle and much more. While you travel throughout Montana keep your eyes open for these important crops and livestock WHEAT Winter wheat is planted in September and harvested in JulyAugust while Spring wheat is planted in the spring and harvested in summer. Wheat is Montanas main crop and is a leading cash crop. Wheat is mostly grown in the north-central part of Montana. CORN Planted in the spring and harvested in late summer or early fall corn is an important crop mainly used in Montana as livestock feed. Nearly all of Montanas corn is produced in the south and central parts of the state. BARLEY Planted in the spring and harvested in the fall Montana barley is primarily grown for animal consumption and malting. High quality barley is used for many products including beer. Anheuser-Busch uses Montana barley for their products. CATTLE Both beef and dairy cows are found in Montana though beef cattle far outnumber dairy. Calving is also common and the cute little calves are typically born January through March. CORN2 BARLEY3 CATTLE4 SUGAR BEETS Sugar beets are second only to sugar cane as a source for sugar. In the autumn Billings often offers a unique scent widely regarded as unpleasant but to residents the smell of the sugar beet is the smell of money and success. One of Billings most lucrative industries the sugar beet process thrives here. Farmers all over the region grow the crop and sell it to Western Sugar Cooperative Plant one of the nations largest sugar cooperatives with a local plant processing a multi-million dollar crop of sugar beets every year. Planted in March of each year the lumpy brown beet is later harvested cleaned chopped into long strings called cossettes and then diffused with hot water to extract the sugar. The pulp remaining is pressed and is often sold as livestock feed. The sugar water left behind is known as raw juice and is further processed purified and filtered before being left to crystallize into sugar. The final product is delivered for use in kitchens everywhere. The Montana Department of Agriculture has more ag info at 5 1 2 3 4 5 WHEAT1