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David Sparks Ph.d Wheat Harvest
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: August 09, 2017

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Treasure Valley farmers are getting the wheat in. At Walton farms in Gem County, Tracy Walton is thrashing soft white Ovation wheat.


The USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates average yields of 86 bushels per acre in Idaho, down 8.5 percent from 94 bushels per acre in 2016.


Idaho Wheat Commission executive director Blaine Jacobson confirmed a number of farmers are harvesting in North Ada and Gem County so far in Idaho, but more farmers will start harvesting this weekend.


“We expect good yields from our winter wheat,” Jacobson said. “We don't know if it will be as good as last year, we don't know much at this point.”


U.S. farmers planted less wheat and corn while soybean acreage is up a record 89.5 million acres. Thats according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service from their annual summer report.


The report is based on surveys of more than 70,000 farmers from the first two weeks of June and matches the survey from March.


Wheat acreage for all varieties is estimated at 45.7 million, down 9 percent from 2016, representing “the lowest all-wheat planted area since records began in 1919,” according to the report.


"Prices are slowing going up," said grower Tracy Walton and says they might break even this year.


"It's just nice to see. Producers that had dark northern spring are having some good rallies. When we’re getting $7 dollars on that, growers are feeling better. The soft white? we still have a ways to go," said Richard Durrant of Meridian.


Last March, farmers said they intended to sow 46.1 million acres with wheat. The bulk of the planted area will go to winter wheat, at 32.8 million acres according to NASS.


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