Kansas to See Smallest Wheat Crop in 60 Years; Will Likely Import Wheat From Europe
Kansas is finding itself in unprecedented conditions, as the state is on pace to see its smallest wheat crop in 60 years, since the Eisenhower administration intentionally suppressed production in 1957.
For decades, Kansas has led the U.S. in wheat production, and the U.S. has led the world in wheat exports, but for two years a deep drought has taken hold of the region. Aaron Harries, vice president of research and operations with Kansas Wheat, noted that the state’s flour mills will likely be put in the position of importing wheat from Eastern Europe - something that has never happened before.
Conditions are very similar in Oklahoma as well, where farmers are opting to kill what little there is in the fields with herbicides to limit their losses, protect what parched soil remains, and collect insurance.
But while farmers have a bit of a stop-gap through insurance, other wheat-reliant businesses such as cooperatives and traders that buy and sell grain, equipment dealers, and even restaurants, are feeling the pressure.
On the global scale, wheat prices spiked last year due to the war in Ukraine, and still remain above historical averages. And as Kansas millers look abroad for sourcing, the USDA estimates that wheat stocks among the world’s major exporting countries will fall to a 16-year low next year too.