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by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio
Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: February 15, 2017
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During a conversation with Darcy Pawlik, a Washington state-based representative from Syngenta who specializes in wheat, I read to him the following from a past report. “1909 was the last year that winter wheat growers planted as small amount of acreage to wheat that farmers planted in the fall of 2016. US wheat growers have been cutting back on seedings in recent years, they were expected to cut acreage again this season for the fourth year in a row. That sums it up well. There are certainly a lot of things going on, whether it's in Washington but probably more acutely throughout the rest of the market, specifically for winter wheat and through the plains where, frankly, over the last three years, there have been an exceptional yields, they have been breaking records in a lot of different states. Washington certainly had a very good year this year. Speaking to guys who grow our wheat, they have had bumper crops and record yields. As a consequence, and this isn’t any different from the rest of the world, farmers are sitting on a log of grain and as a consequence, when that supply is overreaching demand, you certainly see a dip in that commodity price and that turns people away from wheat and they look at alternative crops. We are hoping that it is going to be a short term thing. There is nothing like low prices to cure low prices but it takes a little while. I don't think Washington is any different from anybody else.” Wheat growers from Colorado to the great Northwest certainly hope that’s true.
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