U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data indicates growers in Nebraska have planted the smallest acreage of wheat in recorded history, reports the Lincoln Journal Star. Multiple years of high output and intensifying global market competition have resulted in low prices, leading farmers in Nebraska to plant 1.28 million acres of wheat for harvest this year – a 14% decline from 2014 when the state’s farmers planted 1.49 million acres, according to the USDA.
On a national basis, U.S. farmers planted 36.6 million acres of winter wheat for 2016 – a year on year decline of 7%, however, Global wheat production is expected to be 7% above the five year average, according to the USDA
Because wheat is a food crop and lacks alternative market outlets such as corn’s alternative use for ethanol production, farmers are turning away from wheat which is causing them to lose money per bushel at current prices.
Not only has high inventories and intense global competition been challenging, but a strong U.S. dollar has also hit wheat farmers hard, with exports of U.S. hard red winter wheat down 22% this marketing year which runs from June through this May according to U.S. Wheat Associates.
Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at email@example.com.