$10 Wheat Approaches

I’ve spent most of  my life — first as a farm kid and later as an agricultural journalist — listening to farmers talk about grain and livestock prices.

I’ve heard the glee in farmers’ voices when prices soar. I’ve seen the gloom in their faces when prices plummet.

For months they’ve been talking about the prospects of $10 wheat.

Translated for non-farmers, that means receiving $10 per bushel of spring wheat, the most common variety in this region. More specifically, it means $10 per bushel of spring wheat with a protein level of 14 percent, a level commonly desired for making bread.

This summer, wheat was languishing at about $5 per bushel. Then the Russian wheat crop was hammered by drought, and world wheat prices started to rise.

It wasn’t long before farmers’ began talking about $10. Most of the time they say it hopefully and optimistically, setting it as a goal that might be reached.

A few farmers used “$10 wheat” like a mantra or incantation, as if saying it often enough and with sufficient conviction will make it come true.

Will wheat reach $10? I don’t have a clue. Even the experts can only make educated guesses.

But wheat has reached $9.50 at some of the area elevators followed by Agweek. It would be no great surprise if wheat soon reaches $10.

Agweek, of course, will continue to follow wheat prices, and we’ll write about them as warranted.

Let me know what you think about wheat prices — or any other ag subject of interest.

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