The spring wheat crop in Oregon has thinned out because of dry conditions and heavy re-seeding.
“The California drought is migrating north,” explains Kevin Duling, KD Investors, in an interview on the “AgDay” Agribusiness Update segment. “We had no snowpack to speak of. If you look at western Oregon, they’ve had an average year in rainfall. We just didn’t have the snowpack. Is that drought going to stay put, is it going to move? I don’t know. I’d like it to disappear forever. But it’s just no fun. You can’t forward sell if you don’t know you’re going to have anything.”
To date, the crop looks OK but needs rain.
“There’s some thin stuff,” Duling points out. “Some areas had to re-seed at least a third, and so we ran clear out of spring wheat seed because the stand just wasn’t there. It’s going to be a small crop. Even if it rains, it’s going to be a small crop.”
One positive note: Wheat demand from Asian markets remains strong because U.S. wheat generally has superior protein levels relative to wheat from competitors such as Australia.
Water from snowpack isn’t a major concern this year, he says, but it could become a big problem in 2016.
“If we have another dry summer followed by less than average snowpack next winter, then we’re in trouble,” Duling cautions.