A grass crop, spring wheat starts to grow soon after it is planted in the spring. Eventually, a green stalk will emerge with a few smooth dark green leaves. A head emerges at the top of each stalk and begins to develop kernels. Different varieties of wheat vary greatly in the number and color of the kernels in a head. Once the kernels are mature, the plant will begin to dry, turning dark gold before harvest. Spring wheat starts to grow later in the season than winter wheat. Spring wheat does well both under irrigation and as a dryland crop.
Wheat is the third most produced cereal grain in the world. Hard red spring wheat, the most common form of spring wheat grown in Montana, is used extensively to make breads and rolls. Hard red wheat is also blended with soft white wheats to make the all-purpose baking flour found in most homes. Montana wheat is exported for use around the world, and sold locally.