All that rain and cool weather in the spring made for ideal growing
conditions for dryland wheat farmers across the region, and growers anticipate
big yields as they begin their summer harvests.
Yields of Washington
winter wheat are predicted this year to reach about 65 bushels per acre, up
from 59 bushels in 2009, while the spring wheat harvest is projected at a
record 56 bushels per acre, according to a forecast by the U.S. Department of
Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Total wheat production in the Northwest is projected to reach a 10-year high
this year, according to the Washington Grain Alliance.
In the arid Ritzville area west of Spokane,
rainfall was 130 percent of normal, according to precipitation surveys. “That
has just made for some incredible crops this year,” said Scott Yates, spokesman
for the Washington Grain Commission.
And farmers in the region are earning decent prices for their wheat. Bids on
Friday for soft white wheat were about $4.45 a bushel through AgVentures NW
LLC, which manages the Odessa Union Warehouse Cooperative and Reardan Grain Growers.