Wheat rates low, farmers forced to plant other crops

Capitol Bureau
Richard Little_125019

Richard Little, research technologist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, right, operates a spreader in a field near Mead, Neb., Monday, March 30, 2015. The USDA releases its annual prospective planting report on Tuesday, March 31, 2015, which outlines farmer decisions about how much land to dedicate to corn, soybeans and other major crops including wheat […]

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – With the recent tariff war occurring among the Trump administration, wheat rates have dropped tremendously in the past year. This has caused farmers to plant other crops, or quit farming altogether.

Last year the U.S. saw the lowest amount of wheat planted than in the past 100 years, according to Vice President of Kansas Association for Wheat Growers Kyler Millershaski.

“It’s always tough. I’m a farmer, I’m always going to plant wheat. I love wheat. I love wheat harvest. Coming together it’s really hectic, it’s crazy, but I kind of love that craziness,” Millershaski said. “So it’s hard to have to move away from wheat…but it is a reality that we have to deal with, and you just have to accept it for what it is and make the best decisions for it.”

Wheat takes more time and money to produce than other crops, and when only selling at $4 per bushel, farmers are not making enough profit to continue to grow wheat, if any profit at all.

Farmers are instead turning to corn, soybeans and other crops to plant on the ground that once grew wheat.

The agriculture industry takes up 44 percent of the Kansas economy at a $2 billion industry, according to Millershaski. This may cause a decline in this industry, as well as the trucking industry, and other areas. The agriculture industry employs 70,000 people, and not all of them are farmers.

Millershaski hopes that the Trump administration can rebuild lost trade relationships before these business partners decide to turn to other countries instead.

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