Quality tour estimates very poor wheat crop

GARDEN CITY, Kan. — The Kansas Wheat Quality Tour ended in Kansas City on Thursday afternoon, and the estimated harvest is low. Kansas wheat crops are expected to yield 33.2 bushels per acre, totaling 260.6 million bushels for the state. If the estimate is correct the harvest will be the smallest since 1996.

With such a poor crop, could consumers be left with higher prices?

Lisa Loving owns a cake shop in Garden City and uses more than 200 pounds of flour per week. “I have seen the prices fluctuate, just go up and down depending on how the market is,” she said.

Farmers prices depend on supply and demand, and this year the economics of it all works against them.

“They’d be able to charge more] in a perfect world, but we’re in a world market,” said K-State professor John Holman.

Wheat producers around the globe haven’t seen the same drought conditions as Kansas wheat farmers, so local farmers won’t be able to raise the price, but the poor crop this year could still impact communities in other ways.

“The whole local economy gets hurt when we don’t have a crop to sell,” Holman said.

With less wheat from farmers local co-ops and millers have less business, leading to a negative trickledown effect.

Many say they’ll stay optimistic until harvest time. “It’s not as good as what we like to see or what we were hoping for, but we can certainly maximize what’s left,” said Wheat Quality Council member Dave Green.

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