Some wheat farmers in the northwest are considering switching crops as prices slip below the break-even mark.
Soft white wheat and club wheat — two varieties commonly grown in parts of Washington, Oregon and Idaho — were selling for $4.67 to $4.90 a bushel last week, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Portland.
Washington Wheat Commission member Gary Bailey told the Lewiston Tribune that many farmers are looking for new avenues of income. He says some eastern Washington farmers are putting more acres into garbanzo beans, which fetch a higher price.
Sam White of the Pacific Northwest Farmers Cooperative in Genesee, Idaho says there hasn't been a wheat crop failure in three years, with Russia, Ukraine and Argentina all harvesting good crops last year and Australia reported to have a record harvest this year.