From a distance, the mountains are still snow-capped.

Just as Rick Redd, Regional Manager of the Briess Wyoming Barley Operations, predicted, by mid-March the growers were in the fields prepping the ground and planting seeds before the end of April. February snowfall had set the planting season back by about three weeks, but this has not disrupted the flow of operations for growers or the Briess crew in Wyoming. Everyone watches the weather and plans accordingly, making mindful adjustments to compensate for the ebbs and flows.

Last year, the region also saw a late planting season and fears of poor crop conditions began to temporarily circulate. However, once August rolled around, all the fears subsided with an excellent harvest that had strong yields and a good-looking crop that was bright, plump and disease free. Confidently, Rick assures “It all works out. Come August, we’ll be getting the Southern Montana barley and the Wyoming barley all about the same time, but our crew can handle it.”

But before the harvest comes, there is work to be done at the Briess Powell Seed Plant. The crew at the seed plant include Cameron Barker, Ross Erickson, Tanner Bailey and Brad Meredith. These guys ensure the growers get the right seed in an efficient and timely manner and without their hard work and dedication, planting season would not be possible – so THANK YOU!!

Tanner Bailey overlooks the treated seed bins. Treated seed is stored in these silos before being loaded out and distributed to the growers for planting.
Ross Erickson does a visual check inside the cleaned truck bed prior to loading it with barley seed.
Grower trucks pull into a loading station where a spout loads the trucks. This particular truck was being loaded with Certified Merit 57.
This cart Tanner is operating is used after a grower’s truck is loaded to catch any remaining seed in the spout to prevent a mix of variety. It is then dumped into the leg and put back into the appropriate bin to make sure there is no contamination of pure seed varieties.
Ross (L) and Tanner (R) load the back of a grower’s pickup truck bed with bagged Certified Merit 57 seed. Just like for our brewers, Briess is able to provide our growers with a variety of packaging size options from bulk loads to 50 lbs. bags depending on the grower’s needs.
Spreading manure on the fields to enrich the soil
By Mid-April, spring fieldwork was well underway in the Bighorn Basin.
Roller harrow breaks up the plowed ground.
Mark Bullinger is a grower located in the Heart Mountain region of Wyoming. He is prepping his field and is getting the ground ready for seeding. The piece of equipment he is pulling is called a vibrashank which breaks up the clods prior to seeding.
It doesn’t take long before the seeds take root and begin to sprout. This photo was taken the first week in May.
From a distance, tiny sprouts fill the fields of the Wyoming Bighorn Basin. The trees and mountains remain fairly barren while the green flushed the fields signifying spring is here.