The Latest Word on Wheat

February 11, 2010 06:00 PM

Sara Schafer, AgWeb Crops Online Editor
What's happening with wheat across the country? Here are some the latest reports from some of the Virtual Wheat Tour scouts:
Kyle Grimsrud, Lewistown, Mont.:
"Last fall was a very unusual fall, because of all the late seeding in our area.  Normally, we would start seeding winter wheat in early September, but found ourselves seeding in the middle of October because of the extreme dry conditions and Kajillions of grasshoppers.  The hoppers came late in the summer, so most of the winter wheat beat them.  A very few seeded early, and sprayed for hoppers, but we elected to wait them out.  Consequently, the crop that we did seed came up very late and has had very little snow cover and some 20 below weather.  We normally, put every acre into winter wheat, but this year we held about 900 acres to seed this spring, because of cheat grass. Quite a lot of people in our area, did not seed there normal acres because of these conditions.  Our next big decision will be to seed this acreage to spring wheat, or we may for the first time decide to put it to hay, such as barley and peas.  In our area hay has been bringing between 80 and a 100 dollar a ton consistently, for the last few years. My closest wheat elevator, Gavilon grain, which is 60 miles away just sent me a bid for low pro winter wheat at $3.66!!!”
Jay Warner, McPherson, Kan.:
"We have another half foot of snow forecast this weekend. There is still about an inch of snow covering 75% of the ground from the last system. That should keep us in good shape for a few more weeks. I often quip that the two things that affect my farm the most are the weather and politics, and I do not have any control over either of them. I spent a couple days in Topeka (the state capital) this week. Budget is defiantly the issue, and all of the "easy" solutions have already been implemented."
Mike Miller, Wilbur, Wash.:
"The weather is the big story in the PNW this year!  Very mild temps with some scattered rain.  There is some soil erosion after the runoff events we have had through the winter.  It seems to be worse south of HWY 2, and in Spokane County.  Field cultivators and tractors are coming out of the shed, looks like some are getting ready for spring work.  Ordered a load of fuel last week and the price fell a nickel. Wish I could buy fuel like I sell wheat, at the bottom of the market! Wheat looks great and has grown some all winter.  Let's hope for rain in June!”
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