The concern over securing markets for U.S. wheat growers has taken on new urgency with the recent jump in crop prices … and the anticipation those higher prices will lead to a resurgence in wheat plantings.
The higher prices are impacting planting prospects for the 2003 crop. One Kansas State University economist predicts upcoming winter wheat plantings could increase by almost one million acres over 2002, with roughly 98 percent of those acres in Kansas. Analysts note Revenue Insurance coverage levels currently are up 40 to 50 cents over last year at this time. With increased price protection, farmers are expected to risk extra acres to wheat.
High prices are little consolation to those who have no crop to sell. The drought continues throughout a major portion of the wheat growing areas of the U-S. In response to the ongoing shortage of rain, the U-S department of agriculture has released all Conservation Reserve Program acres nationwide to haying and grazing. Eighteen states were granted C-R-P haying and grazing status in July, but due to the widespread nature of this year's drought the U-S-D-A has dumped the typical moisture deficiency requirements surrounding C-R-P land use until November.