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Grains, such as barley, oats, rice, cornmeal and wheat, are the Harvest of the Month for March. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel, bran, endosperm and germ, which allows a more nutrient density. The innermost center is oily and contains Vitamin E and B, healthy fats, proteins and trace minerals. Including whole grains as part of a balanced diet, is associated with lower body weight and a reduced risk of diabetes, cancer and other diseases.

Wheat can be classified in many different ways, such as the season in which it is grown, as well as color, and hardness. For example, winter wheat is typically planted in the fall and harvested during early to mid-summer depending on conditions. Spring wheat accounts for over half of Montana’s wheat production, making it the most common type in Montana. Kamut, which is an ancient variety of wheat, is also grown in Montana.     

Montana is the third top producer of wheat and barley and the seventeenth for oats. In 2013, wheat production in Montana had a value of over $1.3 billion which included 203,070,000 bushels overall! This month keep in mind that whole grains are an important part of a healthy diet!

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