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Wheat Harvest 2010

According to state wheat officials, this year's harvest is abnormally…normal; welcome news for an industry that suffered last year through one of the smallest crops in nearly 40 years.
Wheat Harvest 2010

Harvesting wheat

For more information visit these links:

U.S. Wheat Association
Cassidy Grain Company
Oklahoma Wheat Commission

Show Dates

Show 1024: Wheat Harvest

Air date: June 13, 2010

 

Transcript

Rob:  Well according to state wheat officials, this year’s harvest is abnormally, normal.  Welcome news for an industry that suffered last year through one of the smallest crops in nearly 40 years. Our Courtenay DeHoff traveled to southwestern Oklahoma as the harvest began to meet a gentleman who has seen his shares of ups and downs.

Courtenay DeHoff:  Last year local wheat harvesters took in only 3% of the previous years .  The harvest has started again in Oklahoma, but officials and harvesters, are optimistic.

There’s a lot of dollars waving in the wind here in southwest Oklahoma.

This year’s wheat crop may not be the best, but compared to last year, farmers and custom harvesters are feeling positive.

Don Scheiber:  Early last year the wheat crop and the market was probably in the six to seven dollar range, and in this part of the state nobody had any wheat.  We didn’t even come here to cut wheat last year, it was just nothing, wasn’t anything here, it just froze out.

Courtenay:  Custom harvester, Don Schieber, knows the industry well and he is hoping for quality wheat this year.

Don:  The test weight is there, its grading number one wheat; but, if we don’t have protein.  We’ve got the elevators full of last years wheat that had real low protein, so if we don’t have a decent protein this year, we’re not going to be able to blend out what we had last year and be able to sell it because nobody wants it.  And then you’ve got, you have the value of the dollar worldwide, and then you’ve got all the problems in Europe, Greece, those kind of things, where does it end?

Courtenay:  The end may still be far away.  Mike Cassidy owns Cassidy Grain Company in Fredrick and says they’re hoping for the best.

Mike Cassidy:  We’re kind of optimistic for this year; it’s been an up and down year.  We were hoping for average yields and I think we still might make ‘em.  You’ve got to remember that two out of the past three years have been failures and we had a bumper crop in 2009 and we’re just hoping for an average crop this year, maybe a little better.

Last year it as a crop failure, but the price of wheat was higher; they did make a few bushels, but not very many.  This year we’re looking back to an average crop, but we’re lookin’ at $3.60 wheat; that’s the same price we got for wheat 30 years ago, so it’s just not workin’.

Courtenay:  Yet it’s work that is vital to small town Oklahoma.

Don:  Three and four dollar wheat is better than no wheat; that’s what they had last year, no wheat.  That really affects the communities because nobody can buy a new car, a pickup, they’re lucky to be able to eat and survive through the year.  And you know, a lot of them have kneepads that they’d wear when they’d go see their banker; and in those kind of situations, it’s almost going to be that bad this year.

Mike:  It’s vitally important to the community, the local rural community, it’s what the farmer works for all year long.  It’s our time of year where we reap the fruits of his labor and, and have a great harvest and always look forward to it, and this is it.

Courtenay:  With weather playing a large role on harvest, local harvest crews and farmers are scrambling to get all the wheat cut.  The US Department of Agriculture estimates that this year’s wheat harvest will be the fourth largest in 10 years.