Schulte said Oklahoma Wheat Farmers Look for Better Times AheadThu, 11 Dec 2014 15:21:03 CST
The 2014 wheat crop will go down in history as one of the worst crops for Oklahoma farmers since 1957. Oklahoma produced about half of a normal wheat crop. Oklahoma Wheat Commission Executive Director Mike Schulte shared the sentiment of a lot farmers in putting the year behind us and focusing on next year.
"We're hopeful this coming year is going to be much better for 2015," Schulte said.
Oklahoma wheat farmers planted the 2015 crop in September and October. Schulte said fall rains arrived at the right times, allowing root development and the crop is tillering very nicely. He said stands everywhere look great and the crop in the western part of Oklahoma is the best its looked in the last five years. With the rains the state has received he is hopeful 2015 will be a much better year for growers.
"With the rains that we have received just over the last couple weeks over the state I think this buys us time until the end of February and then if we could get into the end of February and receive moisture through March and April, hopefully that will give us much better prospects than what we had last year," Schulte said.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays interviewed Schulte about the past year and the outlook for 2015. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to the full interview
While Oklahoma had dismal wheat production in 2014, globally wheat production and grain stocks are abundant. Schulte said that has made for lower prices for producers. In looking back over the last ten years, he said Russia and Ukraine have faced drought conditions every three to four years and this year it looks like drought could impact the crop this year. If that happens the wheat price in the US tends to rally. Schulte said we will just have to wait and see if that happens.
In looking at the outlook for the crop, Schulte said overall Oklahoma farmers are optimistic about the upcoming year because of the moisture the state has received this fall and he believes farmers are more optimistic than they were a year ago. He is concerned there will be a large increase in wheat acres and wheat production in 2015 in the US with the price of corn dropping below four dollars a bushels. He anticipates a lot of farmers especially in the northern growing region will switch from planting corn to hard red spring wheat, so that could result in even higher wheat production in 2015 when wheat stocks domestically and globally remain at high levels.
In the interview, Schulte also talked about the Oklahoma Wheat Improvement Team responding to a blog written by the by the Healthy Home Economist that claimed wheat was toxic because of the use of glyphosate to dry the crop down for harvest. This is a practice that is not widely used in Oklahoma.
Mike will also be joining me for our weekly In the Field report on KWTV News9 in the Oklahoma City market on Saturday morning at 6:40 AM.
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