Low Commodity Prices Overshadow Wheat Harvest

Local News

Texoma farmers hoping to hit pay dirt this year with their wheat crops may have to wait another year.

“It was…fair,” wheat farmer, Kevin McAlister admits.

But weather’s not, totally, to blame.

“We had some hail damage but we didn’t have any bad washout’s or anything like that where we couldn’t till, that helps our fields,” McAlister said. “We didn’t really have any obstacles this year.”

Except with the marketplace. Commodity prices for wheat are so low that this year, McAlister chose to grow only 3,000 acres of wheat rather than his usual 5,000 acres.

“I’d say for us to plant it and make okay money it needs to be somewhere in that $6 range,” McAlister said. “The higher the better.”

“It’s going to hurt. [sighs] Yeah.”

Wheat’s been on a downward trend since it last peaked, selling above $9 per bushel back in 2012.

McAlister says the yield isn’t going to be enough to bolster his overhead, so instead, he’s focusing on the crops that will.

“This year’s a little bit different. Less wheat acres, more canola, more cotton, a little bit of milo,” McAlister said. 

“The commodity prices. Cotton being the highest. Canola prices are okay, they’ve been higher. Wheat’s just not there.”

Once the ground dries up, McAlister will begin planting the cotton.

He has hope, and as a farmer, that’s about all you can hold on to.

“You never know. It’s just a gamble. Every year.”

Cotton is currently trading at about 75 cents per pound.

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