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High Futures May Have Farmers Planting More Wheat

This upcoming year, farmers in our area may be planting more wheat than ever with high prices and good potential for profit luring them into stocking more acres.

Wheat farmer Gordon Gallup said the United States, particularly Idaho, is benefiting from other areas’ bad luck.

With places like Texas and Japan not able to produce wheat as they do in normal years due to poor weather conditions, farmers like Gallup are in a position to pick up the slack.

“That’s kind of what we’re looking at now. The maltsters have already come out with their contract for next year and I think they’re trying to ensure their acres for next year, with a pretty good price,” said Gallup.

Farm Futures magazine came out with a study this week estimating that acreage for wheat, corn and soybeans will see record increases in the upcoming growing year.

They asked 1,000 growers how many acres of wheat they’ll plant this winter. The answer was 42.4 million. That’s an increase of 3.1 percent from last year.

Spring wheat is projected at 14.2 million acres. That’s a 4.2 percent jump.

But don’t let those numbers deceive you.

Even though wheat prices look good for 2012, the high cost of production items like gasoline and fertilizer might make planting more wheat not worth it.

“We live in a world right now where things just take off on you. I think our fertilizer this year was 30 percent above last year,” said Gallup.

Gallup is also the chairman for the Idaho Wheat Commission. Like many farmers in eastern Idaho, he only plants wheat in the spring.

Gallup said you can never bank on a prediction, saying Mother Nature and world economic conditions will ultimately determine what happens this year and next.

“Come next spring, if something else is of higher value, you can take that out in a heartbeat,” said Gallup.

Only time will tell what wheat futures really hold.

Gallup said wheat is easily overproduced making prices slip, because it can be grown just about anywhere.

He hopes that doesn’t happen this year.

Gallup runs a 5,000 acre farm between Ririe and Swan Valley.

If you would like to read the study conducted by Farm Futures, follow this link to the full article.

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