Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What's Up with Wheat?

What's up with wheat? Well, it's certainly not the price. Wheat prices have plunged 23 percent in the past year. The price has been hovering around the $4 mark. Monday it was down another 15 cents. (It rallied a couple of cents on Tuesday.)

So what IS up with wheat? Well, it seems to grow overnight these days as we creep closer to the June harvest.

In May, the Wheat Quality Council will host a three-day trek across Kansas with multiple stops in wheat fields throughout the state from Manhattan to Colby to Wichita to Kansas City. (For more on that tour, you can check out

But I had my own personal wheat tour here on the County Line with my own personal tour guide. And I didn't even have to pay the $250 tour fee!

Rain came to the County Line last week. With the moisture and warmer temperatures, the wheat is starting to mature.

Randy checked the stem to find the location of the wheat head. His analysis? As of the end of last week, our wheat was in preboot stage.

He split open the wheat stalk and exposed the head. This is how the head looks right now.

As good as my tour was, there was something missing. The Wheat Quality Council tour advertises that it's not just about assessing the size, condition and quality of the Kansas wheat crop. But the Wheat Quality Tour provides an opportunity to meet, interact and network with 40 to 50 other wheat industry participants, including USDA and University personnel, price analysts, grain merchandisers, millers, importers of U.S. wheat and other wheat producers.

Well, the only person I saw on my tour was Randy. However, he wears a lot of hats for me: He's my wheat producer, Kansas Association of Wheat Grower board member, my price analyst and my grain merchandiser.

See, I really did get a good deal with my free tour.

And I did see other creatures along the way. This little rascal wanted a wheat tour of his own. He escaped from the pasture and took off for the adjacent wheat field. You know that adage that the grass is always greener. He wanted to test the theory that the wheat was greener than the pasture grass.

Later this week he won't have that option. More on moving cattle to grass later!


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  2. Good pictures of my much older brother!! Thanks for the wheat update!

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