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David Sparks Ph.d 7-10 IAT Wheat Harvest
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: July 10, 2017

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At the Big D ranch outside of Meridian the wheat stands tall. In a couple of weeks it’ll ripen before the combines take over.

“There are a few growers that are taking their water off, we’re getting some hot weather and things will change pretty fast around here. I don't thing we will be harvesting anything before the 15th of July probably closer to the 20th,” said Richard Durrant.

Durrant farms 11-hundred acres—and this week he saw some light at the end of the tunnel, not only seeing the end of another great winter wheat season but the wheat market is showing gains across the board.

“Its just nice to see some rallies in the wheat market. Producers that had dark northern spring are having good rallies. When we’re getting $7 dollars on that growers are at least feeling better. The Soft white, we still have a ways to go,” added Durrant. 

Drought stress to the U.S. spring wheat crop is pushing the rally on the wheat market, while the dry, hot weather has bullish investors buying. September wheat futures were 14¢ higher last week.

Gem County farmer Danny Walton says even with the rally, prices are far below where they should be. “I’d say right now we are right at break even point. theres not going to be any money made at it. I’ll cover my expenses but I wont make anything on it, it wont pay me back,” said Walton.

Walton contracted and locked in his wheat two weeks ago, he says he knows how quirky the market can be, he’s not optimistic about what the futures market is showing.

"Last year I did well selling at $5-dollars a bushel. That don't sound very good, but in last years market it was good. This years market I’d be tickled pink to get $4 and a quarter. I did lock in a contact for $4 and quarter two weeks ago, so mine is sold.

Because of frost, drought,  and the USDA acreage report, spring wheat is classified at 40-percent good to excellent, well below the 72-percent at this time last year.  But with heat and sunshine, Idaho wheat is expected to rally.

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