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Agricultural News

Kim Anderson Worries Ongoing Drought Conditions Might Push Oklahoma's Wheat Crop Off Track

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 16:47:23 CST

Kim Anderson Worries Ongoing Drought Conditions Might Push Oklahoma's Wheat Crop Off Track

Oklahoma State University Extension Grain Market Economist Dr. Kim Anderson joined SUNUP host Lyndall Stout this week, talking about some of the challenges facing wheat farmers in Oklahoma right now and on the current outlook for wheat markets.

Probably the biggest threat to a successful harvest right now, says Anderson, is the ongoing and worsening drought conditions here in the state. This week, the Oklahoma Mesonet reported the latest Drought Monitor had indicated that 99 percent of Oklahoma was in at least moderate drought conditions, and over 50 percent in severe conditions. Anderson says it gets drier the further west you go in the state. According to the farmers he has talked with, they say if moisture doesn’t arrive within the next few weeks, they may not have a crop to harvest.

Not only does moisture, or lack thereof, impact farmers’ yields and production at harvest time, Anderson says it also is affecting their production decisions.

The thing the market needs and wants the most right now, is quality. Anderson says if producers can deliver quality grain with high levels of protein and a good test weight, then he expects premiums to go up. However, in order for farmers to guarantee their wheat develops the desired protein levels, they need to top-dress their crop and get nitrogen in the ground. However, the drought is forecasted to continue for the next couple months at least. In order to get nitrogen in the ground, Anderson says you need moisture prior to the application and immediately after. Finding that window may prove impossible this year. If it does happen, though, that could cause another issue with logistics as fertilizers will be hard-pressed to coordinate the sudden demand for their equipment.

All that to say - rain can only help right now. Anderson digressed, though, and offers what he considers good news for the markets. He reports that given a small rally this week, current price spreads and the fact that the basis is fairly competitive compared to other years despite massive stocks - he believes the market is looking semi-optimistic right now as we march towards harvest. He advises producers to focus on producing a quality crop this year and when or if possible, getting some nitrogen in the ground.

You can hear Kim's full remarks from his interview this week with Stout right now by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.

Anderson will not be featured on this weekend's episode of SUNUP, but the crew has a special report on wildfire and how Oklahoma prepares, responds and recovers.

- We talk with producers, firefighters and emergency management officials in Harper County, fire officials with the Oklahoma Forestry Service, the director of Oklahoma Emergency Management and state specialists from Extension. We will discuss how we can prepare for it, what we can do during the event and what to do after the fire.

- In Cow-Calf Corner, Glenn Selk has suggestions on documenting your cattle and the importance of registering your brand.

- In the Mesonet weather report, Al Sutherland show us the conditions that make it ripe for wildfire, and how Oklahoma compares this week.

Join us for SUNUP:
Saturday at 7:30 a.m.
Sunday at 6 a.m. on OETA-TV



You can hear Kim's full remarks from his interview with host Lyndall Stout, by clicking the bar below.
right-click to download mp3


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