Wheat acres across the country have declined. This is particularly true in the southern states and Louisiana is no different. Too much rain, low prices and a disease called headscab have created a perfect storm driving farmers who often plant wheat not to grow it in 2016.
Louisiana has received more than their fair share of rain this fall making it hard for farmers to get wheat in the ground.
“We just can’t get in the field as soon as it starts to dry out it seems like we get another rain,” says Boyd Padgett a Louisiana wheat grower. “Our acreage is way down. It was down last year and is even more down this year.”
Last year large portions of Louisiana were plagued with a wheat disease called headscab. The disease caused some fields to go unharvested.
“When you combine that with bad weather poor harvest condition and low prices, wheat left a bad taste in producers’ mouths,” Padgett says. “Many producers who have grown wheat before aren’t growing it this year.
Large stocks of wheat in the US are putting downward pressure on the wheat price. According to Padgett many farmers aren’t even breaking even with wheat prices at their current level.
“Prices are depressed. You have to put pencil to the paper,” he says, “if you can’t make it cash flow, you can’t grow a crop.”