Wheat may fit into many cropping systems because it may allow double-cropping. It is also a winter crop, which may raise cash-flow during the off-season and does not demand a lot of management during high activity times for the major summer crops.
Dry fall weather in recent years delayed wheat planting and reduced acreage significantly, but rains in 2018 are creating a different problem for wheat producers.
Erick Larson, grain crops agronomist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said wet soils have delayed fall harvest in some areas. Harvest of other crops is the foremost priority before effort and acreage are devoted to wheat.
STONEVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi's wheat yields were the silver lining in an otherwise depressing season with reduced acreage and a weak market.
Until recent years, growers averaged 200,000 acres of wheat in the state. This year, growers planted about 50,000 acres, and estimated yields have averaged 62 bushels per acre, a 4-bushel increase from last year.
Larry Falconer, agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said prices are up about 6 cents per bushel compared to this same point last year.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- 2017 marked a 54-year low for wheat acreage in Mississippi, and 2018 is not much better.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports an estimated 50,000 acres in winter wheat for 2018, an increase of 11 percent. Production dropped to 45,000 acres last year, just three years after wheat growers planted 230,000 acres in 2014.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi growers produced good wheat yields despite planting historically low acreage and experiencing challenging conditions this year.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, state growers harvested an estimated 40,000 acres of wheat in 2017, averaging an estimated 63 bushels an acre. Average wheat planting is about 200,000 acres annually, but it was as high as 500,000 acres in 2008. The state's record high wheat yield per acre is 64 bushels, set in 2011.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Despite almost everything working against this year's winter wheat, benefits remain on the fields growers managed to plant after last fall's drought.
Brian Williams, an agricultural economist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the 2016-17 season makes four consecutive years of reduced wheat acres.
"The state's farmers planted about 60,000 acres of wheat late last fall, which was about 5,000 fewer acres than the previous year," Williams said.