Washington Wheat Harvest Breaks Record

Oct 20, 2011
Originally published on October 19, 2011 4:11 pm

Washington farmers produced more wheat per acre than ever before this year. And Oregon and Idaho farmers did well also. It comes at a time when wheat prices are down.

Washington harvested 167 million bushels of wheat this year. That's enough wheat that if you filled 18-wheeler grain trucks and lined them end-to-end they could stretch from Seattle almost to Jacksonville, Florida.

Oregon and Idaho didn't break any records, but had a productive year for wheat too.

Credit for the high yields goes to the cool, moist growing season. But it comes at a time when farmers around the world are producing great big loads of wheat.

Thomas Mick is the CEO of the Washington Grain Commission. He says the Black Sea region, India, Australia and the European Union all had good crops.

"So we have a lot of wheat out there that is turning this into a buyers' market instead of a sellers'," Mick says. "And thus the prices are coming down."

Even so, Mick says the average price now is still above the cost of production.

On the Web:

USDA wheat outlook:

http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/current/WHS/WHS-10-14-2011.pdf

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