The Fed can’t print wheat

The start of summer also ushers in the steady rhythm of wheat harvest across the plains. What typically is picture-perfect setting of beauty from amber waves of grain is one that shows the scars of drought.

In the Texas panhandle, farmers saw not even a half of an inch of rain during the heart of the growing season.  As a result, yields are poor in the fields that did survive. Scott Irlbeck,  a farmer in Tulia, Texas, says dryland wheat in his area yielded 8 to 10 bu. per acre. On a good year, the fields that don’t have irrigation can yield around 20 bu. per acre.

“Considering the lack of rainfall we received since way back in the fall, I wasn’t surprised with dryland yields of wheat,” Irlbeck says. “I was surprised with some of the wheat. I tried to irrigate. I thought I’d have a little bit better yields, but that wasn’t the case either. I was ending up with 25 to 30 bushels an acre on irrigated, which isn’t great.”

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The latest USDA Crop Progress Report showed 72 percent of Texas’ wheat crop was harvested as of Sunday, June 19, which is 7 percentage points ahead of normal.


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