By A.J. Etherington
The Courier 

Grainery's Stockpiles of Wheat a Show of Low Prices

Strong Global Yields and Strong U.S. Dollar Hurt County Farmers


If you have driven passed the EGT Grainery near Frazer recently, you may have noticed the large piles of grain being stored in an open field near the bins. According to Tracy Sibley of EGT the piles are the result of a low demand for wheat oversees causing them to stockpile the wheat rather than ship it to their facility on the west coast.

“Basically the worldwide market is flooded with wheat, and there is so much out there,” said Sibley. She discussed the global wheat market’s success with producing wheat this year commenting that usually someone has a bad year which offsets production. That, however, was not the case this year leading to an excess in wheat, and as a result dramatically low prices.

A source in the local farming community told the Courier that very few local wheat farmers were going to be able to make a profit this year. “With the strong dollar we are failing to be competitive... but the cure for low prices is low prices,” he added while speculating that production will slow down and that farmers will opt out of growing wheat next year. He also said Valley County Farmers have alternative crops available to them speculating, “Next year there will be less wheat seeded. The county is really diverse with peas, lentils, chickpeas, canola, flax, and mustard being big crops other than wheat in the dry lands. In irrigated river bottoms corn and soybeans become an option.”

The same source believed it was unlikely wheat farmers will be able to turn a profit this year given the high cost of farming expenses. “With wheat prices where they are now few wheat farmers will make money even with good yields. Four dollar wheat is a money loser. Farmers would need twice the average county yield to cover expenses.”


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